Smart play pays off for women

Muriwhenua women regained their winning ways in the Northland wide basketball competition with a carefully taken victory in Whangarei on Saturday.

Muriwhenua won 62-53 in a well balanced game against Phoenix Takahiwai despite hitting foul trouble in the final quarter, finishing the game with only three players on the court.

The visitors led 33-20 at half-time in the early game at Kensington Stadium and should have strengthened their lead but instead Takahiwai surged back into contention in the third quarter.

Sue Reed-Thomas led the way playing a good inside game to get her team within five points of catching Muriwhenua going into the fourth quarter.

Muriwhenua played smart in the final quarter, using timeouts to slow things down and despite being down to three secured the win.

Lisa Tamarua and Waimarie Halkyard both top-scored with 18 points, while Takahiwai's Reed-Thomas scored 15 and Jayde Rakich-Tuhiwai scored 14.

The men's Muriwhenua team had a tough fight on their hands to subdue their opposition when they took on the City Hawks, also in Whangarei, on Saturday.

The Hawks were again impressive as they bounced back from a midweek defeat by the unbeaten Whangaruru Full Blooded, to beat Muriwhenua in a scrappy match 59-47.

Scores were locked 29-all at the half-time break but City pulled through in the third quarter to walk away with the game.

City player coach Warrick Siddall top scored with 21 with Kane Rudolph chipping in with a valuable 13 points. Once again Muriwhenua brothers Atama and Arahi O'Donnell were the top scorers with 25 with 13 respectively.

Coach Packo Still said the game was pretty physical and could have gone either way.

"We started the game pretty well in the first half and made some good shots and dishes but we fell away in the second half and didn't match City's intensity," he said.

Full Blooded Whangaruru look unstoppable at the top of the Super-Six competition after a businesslike 95-71 win over the highly rated Maunu Lights.

They established a 47-41 lead at the half-time break and built on it in the third and fourth quarters to remain unbeaten in the competition after overcoming the City Hawks 92-78 on Wednesday in the final round three match.

The Portland Blazers were far too strong for the Raumanga Royals on Friday night. Ahead 54-25 at half-time they finished ahead 96-54 at fulltime.

Whangaruru Tukaiaia also continued their unbeaten run in Te Tai Tokerau Classic competition with a good 80-58 win over Bucks 2.

Reannon Hetaraka-Sadler led her team by directing play as point guard. She took the ball to the hoop at every opportunity to score a game high 31 points. Te Aniwa Kingi also contributed 24 points to the team's tally with Sian Telfer running the lanes well to finish with 14 points.

It was a good performance by Bucks 2 with strong attacking from Keziah Lewis earning her 17 points, working well with Te Oremae Soloman who compiled 14 points.

In the final game Portland Flames beat Pipiwai 55-34, with Sophy Tua top-scoring with 11, while Gemma Palmer top-scored for Pipiwai with 12.

- Northland Age

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