The New Zealand Secondary Schools team yesterday pulled off a brilliant come-from-behind victory to topple their Australian counterparts, defending their title in the final of the transtasman tournament in Auckland.
Australian School Sports led at every quarter break, but could not hold off the fast-finishing New Zealand side, who clawed their way back from a 17-13 halftime deficit to claim a 30-28 win.
The introduction of Sophia Fenwick at goal shoot after halftime proved key to the home side's victory, with the 16-year-old leading the New Zealand's resurgence, slotting 13 of her 14 shots at goal.
Fenwick's match-winning performance was all the more remarkable given the youngster was a last minute inclusion in the side, following a late withdrawal.
The three-day tournament at AUT's North Shore campus showcased the premier Secondary Schools talent from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific.
New Zealand's Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick, a student at Auckland's St Cuthberts College and Northern Mystics development player, was named defensive player of the tournament, while Kayla Cullen took out the attacking player of the tournament.
Cullen, who was last month named in the New Zealand Under-21 side for the World Youth Cup, was also named overall player of the tournament.
Australia's Emily Chapple was named midcourter of the tournament.