The Junior Tall Blacks and Junior Tall Ferns squads had successful times on day one of the HoopNation Tournament in Tauranga on Saturday.
Both teams finished the day with perfect 3-0 records.
The Junior Tall Blacks comfortably beat Victoria University 56-36 first up. Sam Waardenburg stamped his mark on proceedings by scoring 12 first half points complimented by perimeter shooting from Hamish McDonald and Flynn Cameron.
They were then given a much sterner test by Harbour Heat having to come from behind before eventually winning 62-53 with Quinn Clinton putting on a shooting master class. The Canterbury guard connected with four triples in the final four minutes to steer his side to victory.
JTBs assistant coach Gavin Briggs remarked how relatively quiet Clinton had been up until that point. "Next thing he does is three treys back to back and that blew the game open suddenly taking us from six down to three up. He got a roll on and that was what we needed."
In the evening game the Tongan development side IATE were no match for the JTFs who led 19-10 at quarter time and 39-13 at half-time. The second half was a scrappy affair but Fahrensohn, Leaupepe and McDonald demonstrated their scoring prowess before Flynn Cameron put an exclamation on a comprehensive 84-28 win with an athletic dunk.
Briggs added, "The main focus is the trip to Fiji later in the year. Having said that it was great to get the wins and being able to work on our combinations and see players in action. I think all the boys are starting to get comfortable with their roles - its been a good day."
Won 56-36 v Victoria Uni - Waardenburg 17, McDonald 8, F Cameron 7, Clinton 6
Won 62-53 v Harbour Heat - Clinton 13, Fotu 12, Waardenburg 12, Fahrensohn 6
Won 84-28 v IATE - McDonald 12, Leaupepe 10, Aitcheson 9, Fahrensohn 8
The Junior Tall Ferns faced local team Phoenix in the morning and were pushed all the way before winning 41-31 with the efforts of Esra McGoldrick and Kendell Heremaia crucial.
The second outing was much more straight forward with Expired disposed of 60-31. Nine players got on the scoring chart in this one as the JTFs forwards dominated the interior allowing space on the perimeter for Joellen How, Tiarna Clarke, Heremaia and Jayden Fuiava to land threes.
Despite the presence of Tall Ferns Megan Craig and Josie Stockill the Waitakere Lady Rangers were unable to threaten the unbeaten record of the JTFs in game three. The JTFs edged the first quarter 16-12 but only gave up 2 points in the second quarter to lead 23-14 at the interval before pulling away in the second half to win 54-34. Charlotte Whittaker and Stirling Walker-Pitman led the JTFs scoring but it was a balanced effort with eight players scoring between 5 and 7 points.
JTFs assistant coach Trent Adam admitted the start to the day wasnt perfect.
"We werent quite in the rhythm of what we needed to do. With short games (each game is 10 minutes running clock quarters) as a coaching staff we werent quite sure how to attack the day, but we sorted it out. In the last two games we were able to play a good style of basketball, keep the pressure up, play five on five off and force the tempo.
"I think to start with we were a bit disjointed with the court time we gave the girls, but we were able to make the adjustments and improve the day from there.
"Kendell Heremaia had a very good day playing the three and the four, as did Esra McGoldrick. We also started to knock down some outside shots which is important," he added
Won 41-31 v Phoenix - McGoldrick 8, Heremaia 7, Fuiava 4, Whittaker 4
Won 60-31 v Expired - Heremaia 17, McGoldrick 8, Clarke 7, Fuiava 7, How 6, Dunn 6
Won 54-34 v Lady Rangers - Walker-Pitman 7, Whittaker 6, McGoldrick 6
For both squads this is the last competitive hit out before the teams are announced ahead of the FIBA Oceania Championships in Fiji.
The Championships, to be played in December, will double as the qualifying tournament for the 2017 FIBA Under 19 World Championships.
Junior Tall Ferns Squad
Tiarna Clarke (North Harbour), Aliyah Dunn (Southland), Jayden Fuiava (Queensland, Australia), Kendell Heremaia (Waikato), Alyssa Hirawani (Waikato), Joellen How (Taranaki), Zara Jillings (North Harbour), Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato), Esra McGoldrick (Canterbury), Bayley Ransfield (Taranaki), Nicole Ruske (Otago), Stirling Walker-Pitman (Waikato), Charlotte Whittaker (Canterbury).
Junior Tall Blacks Squad
Josh Aitcheson (Otago), Flynn Cameron (Australia), Tobias Cameron (Australia), Quinn Clinton (Canterbury), Taki Fahrensohn (Waitakere West), Dan Fotu (North Harbour), Corey Leaupepe (Wellington), Isaac Letoa (North Harbour), Hamish McDonald (Waikato), Callum McRae (Palmerston North), Angus McWilliam (Canterbury), Taane Samuel (Wellington), Sam Waardenburg (North Harbour)
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand