Station Vogue play for keeps

By Jared Smith

We were due for a good tale of beating the odds and day four of the New Zealand Masters Games ushered in a cracker at the basketball at Springvale Stadium.

Local team Station Vogue were ranked outsiders in the 40+ final against the experienced Bishops team from Christchurch, but hitting the three-pointers when it counted and being game on defence against giant men who dwarfed them saw the plucky Wanganui side triumph 38-36.

Ask captain, and stadium manager, Alan Kenny if that was an upset and he had to grimace from past memories.

"We played them two years ago and they beat us by 20. Then they beat us by 10 in the round robin," Kenny said.

"To step up against these big fellas as well is awesome."

Most of his guys play in the Thursday night competition, stacking up against Bishops like former Tall Black and Olympian Ralph Lattimore and others with first division experience.

"They'll probably want to play another year after this," laughed Kenny about his men.

Defence around the hoop was apparent early on as both sides looked for outside shots as opposed to layups and certainly no dunks.

As the only man with the height to counteract Bishop's giants, Rob Ryan had to shoulder a lot of responsibility, while Kenny praised Stephen Butler for showing composure and getting Station Vogue on the front foot.

Taking an 11-10 lead out of the first quarter, Station Vogue started hitting three-pointers and shocked the Bishops but extending out to 20-12.

However, the visitors came roaring back and reasserted their dominance to lead 25-23 at the break.

But this time, the Wanganui boys refused to be put away as both sides gave away intercepts from tired passes the lead fluctuated until Station Vogue had wrestled back control 33-31 heading into a nail-biting final quarter.

The contact got intense with players crashing on their back and, literally, out the door as both sides struggled to put up a shot.

Station Vogue kept the ball in the Bishop's half to run the clock down and hang on for a truly memorable win.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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