Basketball: Kiwis on the Road Mon Mar 3

By Mike Lacey

Jarrod Kenny playing for the Perth Wildcats. Photo / Getty Images
Jarrod Kenny playing for the Perth Wildcats. Photo / Getty Images

During the past seven days New Zealand Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks players have been involved in play-off action in both the Australian NBL and WNBL as well as women's college basketball.

Whilst there was a sombre atmosphere at Breakers headquarters in Atlas Place on Sunday night following the team's NBL Grand Final loss one North Shore family would have been in celebratory mood.

Jarrod Kenny grew up on the Shore, attended Westlake Boys High School and is now the proud owner of an NBL championship ring. Kenny has had an outstanding rookie season for the Wildcats and will enjoy the celebrations in Perth this week before heading to Nelson to play for the Giants in the New Zealand NBL. His contributions in the Grand Final series were not major (8 points in game 1 the most points he contributed) but his steadying influence in the backcourt was a key component in Perth's success.

Australia - WNBL

New Zealand is guaranteed at least one Australian WNBL championship winner after the Townsville Fire proved too good for South East Queensland Stars in the Preliminary Final on Saturday.

Townsville protected home court with a solid 91-71 victory to set up a meeting with Perth Lynx in the best of three grand final series.

Micaela Cocks had a game high 8 assists in addition to 6pts/2rebs/1stl/1block against the Stars. Chevannah Paalvast only played the last couple of minutes but she and Cock's will be relishing the opportunity to play against fellow Tall Fern Toni Edmondson and her Lynx colleagues in game one on Saturday night in Perth.

American College - Women

A number of college conferences have already begun post regular season conference tournaments and a number of Tall Ferns have been in the thick of the action.

The University of California Berkley Golden Bears terrific run in the Pac 12 Conference Tournament at Key Arena in Seattle came to an end at the semifinal stage on Saturday.
The Bears entered the tournament ranked 10th and knocked off higher ranked teams Utah (66-63 AOT) and Arizona State (75-64) before going out in the semis 73-68 against UCLA, again after overtime action.

Former Rangitoto College forward Penina Davidson made a telling contribution for the Bears with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks against Utah. She followed that up with an even more impressive career high 17points (7/8FG) and 7 rebounds against Arizona State.
A third game in three days, two going to overtime, took its toll on Davidson as she could manage only 5 points in the semifinal loss.

In the West Coast Conference Tournament number one and two seeds Brigham Young Uni-Provo Cougars and St Mary's Gaels progressed to the semi-finals at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

St Mary's beat Loyola Marymount 85-71 aided by 11 rebounds from Stella Beck (plus 3pts/3 assists and 2 steals).

Kalani Purcell threatened a triple double as BYU defeated Pepperdine 72-59. Purcell, the leading rebounder in the conference, had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists.

Josie Stockill spent virtually the whole of the second quarter sitting on the bench as Colgate University Raiders struggled to overcome Lafayette in the first round of Patriot League play-off action on Saturday. Stockill, "Itching to get out there and make an impact", took control of proceedings in the second half, the former Hawkes Bay forward finishing with a double double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, as the Raiders stole an 80-68 win.

Colgate next faces the highly fancied Army West Point on Monday in quarter final action.

Jacinta Beckley and Seattle University Redhawks fell 66-52 to CSU Bakersfield in its final regular season game of the season. Beckley played just 6 minutes and recorded just a single rebound - the Redhawks will meet Bakersfield again on Wednesday in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

Cal State Northridge Matadors will also begin tournament play this week facing Cal Poly on Tuesday. The Matadors completed its Big Western Conference regular season with a home defeat at the hands of Long Beach State 79-69 on Saturday. Forward Tessa Boagni had 4 points, 2 rebounds and an assist in the loss.

American College - Men

The Nebraska University Huskers final game of the season wasn't one to savor for Nebraska fans The Huskers slipped a fifth straight loss after going down 65-54 against Northwestern on Sunday. Tai Webster joint top scored for Nebraska with 13 points in addition to securing 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

The Huskers now head to the Big Ten Tournament and will take on Rutgers in the first round on Thursday (NZT).

Jack Salt played just the final minute as University of Virginia Cavaliers rounded out an unbeaten home season (15 games) with an 86-46 demolition of Louisville on Saturday. The Cavaliers move onto the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.

Europe -Men

Zaragoza exited the Eurocup at the last 16 stage losing 79-65 against Dolomiti Energia Trento on Tuesday. The Italian club won the tie 162-150 after Zaragoza had won their home leg by two points the previous week.

Isaac Fotu scored 12 points, all in the first half, at an efficient 5 from 7 shooting from the field. The Tall Blacks forward also added 3 rebounds an assist and a steal.

On Sunday Zaragoza moved up to joint thirteenth on the Spanish League ladder after defeating Iberostar Teneriffe 82-77. Fotu corralled 7 rebounds and added 6 points for the hosts.

Duane Bailey produced a more than useful stats line of 8pts/5rebs/4assists/2stls/1block for Plymouth Raiders as they defeated Sheffield Sharks 82-77. Bailey played all 40 minutes for Plymouth as they maintained eighth spot in the British Basketball League.

Rob Loe played his first game since mid December on Saturday helping Limburg United beat Brussels 90-81 in Belgium League action. Loe limited his involvement to just 10 minutes, after recovering from knee ligament damage, but reported all went well as he eased in 5 points and snared a steal, a block and a pair of rebounds at the defensive end.

Europe - Women

Jillian Harmon and Le Mura Lucca now boast a 20-1 record at the top of Serie A. Harmon bagged 20 points on Wednesday as Lucca was tested by Venezia before eventually winning 69-59.

- NZ Herald

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