Four Hawke's Bay teams have booked their berths at the senior secondary schools' basketball nationals in Palmerston North early next month.
Hastings Boys' High, Hastings Girls High, Napier Boys' High and Napier Girls' High have qualified for the annual Schick National Championship from October 2 to 7.
The Curtis Wooten-coached HBHS were the fourth qualifiers of six from the "AA" zone 3 premiership that embraces Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, Taranaki, Manawatu and greater Wellington regions.
Palmerston North Boys' High are the zone 3 champions after beating Rongotai College 100-71 in the final.
HBHS lost their semifinal to Rongotai College games and went down to Wellington College in 85-76 in the 3rd/4th playoffs.
Damion Davies-coached NBHS qualified sixth after losing 74-57 to New Plymouth Boys' High School.
The notable omission are St Pat's College who lost to Rongotai and NBHS in the pool C of death.
St Mary's College (Wellington) predictably won the zone 3 girls' tourney after beating Hutt Valley High 70-52 in the final.
HGHS had the measure of New Plymouth Girls' High 77-55 to claim third place while Sacred Heart (New Plymouth) overwhelmed NGHS 100-63 in the fifth-placed encounter.
Sacred Heart handed Wellington College a don't-argue 75-45 while NGHS squeezed home 81-77 against hosts Palmerston North Girls' High to claim the sixth and last berth.
HBHS beat Freyburg College 96-52 with Wooten only using his starting five for less than 20 minutes in both games on day one as he rolled all 12 players.
Isaia Jones-Mitchell scored 20 points, Latrell Ah Kiong 17, Devante Miller 12 and Marcos Edwards 11.
"We could have scored 150 points on them if we wanted to," Wooten said.
HBHS had St Bernard's College 97-54. Taylor Corporation Hawks guard Jones-Mitchell again top scored with 28 points. Miller added 19 and Edwards 14.
They lost 61-57 to Wellington College with Wooten saluting the victors.
"We didn't get any 50-50 balls and they killed us on the boards. It was good refereeing but we didn't get those 50-50 calls that help in close games."
Jones-Mitchell claimed another double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds with Miller adding 24 and Ah Kiong 11.
HBHS stunned Fielding 101-72 after amassing 44 points in the first quarter with Miller claiming 18 before finishing with 28 but the game-high score belonged to Jones-Mitchell who also claimed 10 rebounds. Lopez Kerisiano scored 13 points, Edwards 11.
They won the arm wrestle against Scots College 81-76 in a game where the lead see-sawed before HBHS established a nine-point gulf in the third quarter and hung on for victory.
Jones-Mitchell racked up a double-double 19 points and 11 rebounds, Ah Kiong 18 points, Edwards 16 and Kerisiano 13.
In the quarter-finals, HBHS pipped New Plymouth 68-66 after clawing their way back from an 18-point deficit in the first spell.
"We just kept chipping away and took the lead in the third quarter. In fourth quarter, we missed too many easy shots and free throws to extend lead but we had two very tough back-to-back games," he said after Jones scored 33 points and Latrell 13pts
In the semifinals, they led Rongotai College 37-36 at halftime in a game where the lead changed hands five times.
"With seven minutes to go we did not score for five minutes and could not buy a basket," he lamented.
Twenty-four boys and girls' teams have qualified for the "AA" grade from a muster of 92 male entries and 51 female ones in the zone premierships.
A dozen boys" and girls' teams each will vie for the second-tier "A" grade.
The "A" premiership is for those with a roll of under 600 for co-ed schools or fewer than 300 for single-gender ones.
The "AA" events are for those with more than 600 for co-ed schools or more than 300 for single-gender ones.