Day two at the HoopNation Tournament in Tauranga on Sunday was another successful day for the Junior Tall Blacks and Junior Tall Ferns as both teams kept a perfect record.

The Junior Tall Blacks finished the day with a 5-0 record advancing to the Elite Mens semi-final on Monday morning. The Junior Tall Ferns (6-0) are also unbeaten and will move straight into the Elite Womens Grand Final also to be played on Monday.

The Junior Tall Ferns cruised to a 66-19 victory against IATE in their opening game on day two. Collectively the team connected with nine threes, distributed amongst six players, as the scoring was led by Charlisse Leger-Walker and Brisbane based Jayden Fuiava.

Game two was a much tougher affair against the Waikato based Muppets. The JTFs led after the opening quarter 13-10 but went scoreless for five minutes in the second stanza - the scores tied 19-19 at half-time.

A three from Fuiava and seven points from Clarke established a 33-23 three-quarter-time advantage. The Muppets narrowed to within 6 points late in the final quarter, but poise from guards Leger-Walker and Nicole Ruske at the free throw line ensured the JTFs remained unbeaten.

In game three of the day the JTFs led the All Stars (from Wellington) 20-8 at half-time with Canterbury forward Esra McGoldrick contributing 8 points.

The All Stars had the better of the third period closing to 29-21 at the last break. The JTFs opened the final period with an 6-0 run courtesy of scores from Jillings, Leger-Walker and McGoldrick before Ruske sealed the victory with three straight baskets.

Junior Tall Ferns assistant coach Bronwen Davidson was more than content with the teams performances over the first two days of competition.

"As coaching staff we are really excited because we have had a really good look at some awesome combinations. It is going to really challenging for us to make some tough decisions. We are happy that in the tougher games the leaders put their hands up and the team have taken on a lot of information in a short amount of time."

Esra McGoldrick was a stand out on day two and Davidson was impressed with her performance and attitude.

"She is another one to look out for - we have so many of them. I am really excited for her because she is athletic, she takes on a lot of information and we are seeing the benefits of her hard work," said Davidson

Junior Tall Ferns Results

Day 2

Won 66-19 v IATE - Leger-Walker 11, Fuiava 11, Clarke 9, Jillings 6, Whittaker 6, Dunn 6

Won 39-31 v Muppets - Clarke 9, Fuiava 9, Leger-Walker 8

Won 44-29 v All Stars - McGoldrick 10, Ruske 6, Whittaker 6

Day 1

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

The Junior Tall Blacks were given a good workout in the morning game against the Junior Mountainairs. The scores were tied at 21 apiece at half time before the North Harbour duo of Dan Fotu and Isaac Letoa combined for 12 points to edge the JTBs ahead at the end of the third. The Airs made things difficult for the Junior Men but Taane Samuel and Fotu, with late baskets, ensured a fourth straight win for the JTBs

The afternoon encounter with Rack City provided the JTBs with a thorough examination before they prevailed 44-29.

Rack City boasted plenty of NBL experience with Ana Haku, Troy McLean and Arthur Trousdell in their ranks and they led 24-18 at half time.

In the third period the JTBs quickly wiped off the deficit and Letoa gave the team a lead for the first time in the game. Hamish McDonald landed a three before a Corey Leaupepe drive on the three-quarter time hooter kept the JTBs ahead 36-33.

The two teams exchanged baskets early in the fourth and the JTFs were only up by five points with five minutes to play. Letoa then scored two straight baskets, Taki Fahrensohn followed suit to propel their team to a 53-41 lead with four minutes to play.

The Airs made some late baskets but a strong all round effort from the Junior Tall Blacks carried them to victory.

Junior Tall Black assistant coach Leyton Haddleton enjoyed the efforts of his team.

"Today has been really good competition for our boys, a bit more physical which is something we expect when we come up against Australia. It was probably a bit more realistic in terms of our build up to come up against those two teams so a really good hit out ahead of the semi-final tomorrow."

Haddleton was pleased his team faced a situation where they had to come from behind to force a win.

"Because of the running clock situation and playing a five in five out rotation the boys dont really get a chance to find much rhythm. You have to get the boys to get out and give plenty of effort and if you find a group that turns the tide, like we did, and they knock down a couple of shots and their confidence gets going the score can change quickly.

"We also met the physicality in the games today and stood our ground. Corey Leaupepe, who had his best game of the tournament, had a real stand out day today," Haddleton added.

Junior Tall Blacks Results

Day 2

Won 43-39 v Junior Mountainairs - Fotu 12, Samuel 11, Letoa 6, Waardenburg 6

Won 57-48 v Rack City - Fahensohn 12, Letoa 10, Leaupepe 8, McWilliam 6, F Cameron 6

Day 1

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

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 (North 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