Rotorua Boys' High School flogged them in game three but that didn't stop Napier Boys' High School from bouncing back to claim the Super 8 basketball crown in Hastings this week.
So what did co-coaches Damion and Dwayne Davies say to co-skippers Kobe Kara and Clifton Bush jr III that turned things around for the schoolboys at the Hastings Sports Centre when the three-day tournament ended on Wednesday?
"We analysed footage we had of them because we were competitive against them in almost three-quarters of the first game so we had realised we needed to improve on both ends of the court," said Damion Davies, after NBHS recovered from a 103-66 hiding to prevail 77-71 in the final.
It didn't help that tourney MVP Bush, who is part of the Taylor Corporation Hawks greater squad this year, got injured and was rolled off the floor.
"We just couldn't make a basket and they were hitting everything and it snowballed for them."
Davies said Rotorua Boys were, unofficially, ranked the top seeds in high schoolboys basketball in the country on some social media websites.
However, in the final Napier Boys had that hunger for a rematch to show the loss to Rotorua Boys' just an aberration.
"They weren't that much better than us so we definitely knew we could beat them so making those changes, when we had our team meeting that [Wednesday] morning the boys had done an awesome job in sticking to their game plan so we got it done," he said.
Davies said eight of the boys had returned from last year's side who had lost to Palmerston North Boys' High School in the Super 8 final in New Plymouth.
"They were only Year 11 last year so after missing out to do it this year was awesome."
Having lost pivotal playmakers from last year, the Davies brothers had "switched their systems" at both ends of the court to mutate into a different breed of beasts on the court.
The Sky Blues will now turn their attention on defending their Premiership title in Wellington early next month as well as qualifying for the nationals by securing a top-six finish of the 22 boys' outfits in the capital city.
The Premiership also embraces the Manawatu and Taranaki regions.
NBHS beat Hastings Boys' High 101-54 in the opening derby and followed it up with a 104-62 victory over New Plymouth Boys' High before the Rotorua BHS hiccup.
They beat Tauranga Boys College 125-103 in a high-scoring semifinal.
In the final, Jacob Murphy claimed a match-high 26 points for NBHS, Kara added 18 points, collected 14 rebounds and made five steals, Bush added 17 points and plucked nine rebounds.
Tommy Ferguson claimed a double-double - 10 points and 11 rebounds - while Karybe Tekira had 11 assists.