Age Concern may well want to take stock but the oldies know the young and restless are beginning to benefit from shimmying and faking against them on the basketball courts.
"Most of our bodies will be feeling it today after running up and down the court for 40-odd minutes but it's a great initiative and exciting for these youngsters [that] they can play against [seasoned players] rather than the old school leagues," said veteran Craig Findlay after his Napier Tech Sweepers beat Hastings Old Boys 81-77 in round three of the Basketball Hawke's Bay Trail Media Elite League at the Pettigrew-Green Arena in Napier last night.
Findlay said they had not been around the basketball blocks for some time but responded to the SOS from the provincial parent body to reignite a competition to pave a pathway for emerging young talent.
"We've had a Tech basketball team for a few years so we should be a club set up properly to get some old timers back," said the CEO of HB Cricket who has enticed former Hawks and Tall Blacks players Willie Burton, Clifton Bush II and Benny Hill. "We were able to con, I suppose, Willie, Clifton and Ben Hill with some young guys, including Matt Edmondson."
Findlay said it was a massive step up for the schoolboys and schoolgirls teams to hustle with adults in preparation for the secondary school regionals and nationals where that exposure bridged the gulf.
The former Central Districts cricketer had received a text from Burton this morning : "Surprisingly enough, the body feels really good. Really enjoyed it last night so look forward to playing again soon."
Findlay said while they couldn't jump as they could in their heyday they employed their knowledge and skills, including a sixth sense in anticipating moves, to negate youthful exuberance.
"Clifton was shooting like he was back in his 20s so our bodies are feeling like the young days again."
However, the performance of the week went to former Hawk Reece Tuala-Fata who was unstoppable for Hastings Old Boys with 45 points.
Hill had deposited two threes before Bush hit one to cap off an 11-0 for the Sweepers while Hastings Old Boys' unwillingness to shoot saw them only score 14 in the first quarter.
Tuala-Fata changed that with 21 points as Hastings Old Boys closed the deficit to 37-42 at halftime. They narrowed it to a four-point margin before Hawks assistant coach Morgan Maskell hit a deep three off a Burton assist to maintain their advantage.
Hastings Old Boys went on a sizeable run after Hill and Maskell were fouled out
to bring the game down to a single point with under a minute left before Jordan Frisby hit his first three of the game to take the score to 81-77 with 30 seconds left.
Napier Tech Sweepers 81 (W Burton 17, B Hill 16, C Bush Jr 13) Hastings Old Boys 77 (R Tuala-Fata 45, C Smiler 11).
Toro Atu, the only undefeated side as is Napier Girls' High School in the women's competition, were without Taranaki Mountainairs captain Alonzo Burton but had Hastings Boys' High School's measure with an 82-54 victory.
Josh Anderson scored 18 points for Toro Atu in the first quarter but underdogs HBHS led 26-22. Ravi Mani was held scoreless in the first quarter but opened the second with six straight points for Toro Atu but schoolboy Lamour Spooner's 17 first-half points gave the winners a 40-38 lead into halftime.
Despite Year 11 pupil Spooner's brilliance Toro Atu showed why they are table toppers with Jayden Winterburn adding 16 points.
Toro Atu 82 (J Anderson 26, J Winterburn 16, R Mani 14) HBHS 54 (L Spooner 27, N Karepa 10).
Kings had to toil in beating Napier Boys' High School 93-87 although the teenagers struggled to contain ex-Hawk centre Kareem Johnson on the inside as he rattled off 10 first-quarter points.
The NBHS arsenal was dormant until Kobe Kara and Jacob Murphy mustered three three-pointers. Jissane Allen sparked life into the NBHS offence in the second quarter, scoring 11 of their 24 points although subduing Johnson also was pivotal.
However, current Hawks forward Darryl Jones dropped three of Kings' six baskets from downtown in the third quarter to leave NBHS trailing 78-58 although they clawed their way back to a single-digit deficit in the last couple of minutes.
A Johnson three and back-to-back Cruz Davies baskets late in the final spell extinguished the schoolboys' hopes of a late comeback win.
Kings 93 (K Johnson 31, D Davies & D Jones 15) NBHS 87 (K Kara 31, J Allen 17, J Murphy 15).
Bridge Pa edged out Ravens 58-53 to ensure all encounters between them and the Flyers remained single-digit affairs in the women's league.
Sequoia Sadler scored seven points in the first quarter on her outing in this league to help Bridge Pa to a 19-17 lead.
Kahlia Awa was superb driving and slashing to the basket for Bridge Pa while Kaya Rameka and Kathleen Nahora foraged adroitly on the inside for the Ravens.
The largest lead was 48-38 to Bridge Pa after three quarters. Julie Fergusson and Rameka stood out for the Raven while Awa did for Bridge Pa.
Bridge Pa 58 (K Awa 16, P Te Amo 9) Ravens 53 (K Rameka 14, J Fergusson 12).
NGHS put behind them sluggish starts in two previous rounds to beat Flyers 96-61.
The schoolgirls' defence stood staunch, enabling Kresna Crouch to claim only nine points while holding Tayler Clare and Madison King to four between them.
Aaliyah Beamsley, Ashleigh Poi and captain Shyan Murphy spearheaded NGHS to apply full-court pressure to dictate terms for 34 points in the third spell. Sarah Winnie had rattled off 10 consecutive points.
NGHS 96 (M Cunningham 30, S Winnie 18, A Poi 11) Flyers 61 (K Lord 12, T Clare & G Campbell 10).
RD 3 DETAILS
Men's top-10 scorers to date:
1. Jacob Murphy (NBHS) 33.5, 2. Reece Tuala-Fata (HOB) 32, 3. Kareem Johnson (Kings) 31.3, 4. Alonzo Burton (Toro Atu) 28, 5. Josh Anderson (Toro Atu) 23, 6. Kobe Kara (NBHS) 22, 7. Ravi Mani (Toro Atu) 19, 8. Dom McGovan (Kings) & Lamour Spooner (HBHS) 18, 10. YuQing Jiang (Napier BHS) & Ben Hill (Napier Tech) 14.
Women's top-10 scorers: 1. Madison Cunningham (NGHS) 18.7, 2. Kahlia Awa (Bridge Pa) 14.3, 3. Raedeen Blake (Bridge Pa) 13.3, 4. Kelarney Burgess (NGHS) 13, 5. Melika Samia (NGHS) 12, 6. Tayler Clare (Flyers) & Kaya Rameka (Ravens) 11.3, 8. Aliyah King (NGHS) 10, 9. Madison King (Flyers) 9.7, 10. Sarah Winnie (NGHS) 9.3.
Men's standings (wins/losses): Toro Atu 3-0, Kings 2-1, Tech Sweepers 2-1, Hastings Old Boys 1-2, NBHS 1-2, HBHS 0-3.
Women's standings: NGHS 3-0, Bridge Pa 2-1, Flyers 1-2, Ravens 0-3.
Rd 4 on Wednesday next week at the PG Arena:
6pm: Hastings Old Boys v HBHS, PGA 1.
6pm: Kings v Sweepers, PGA 3.
7.30pm: NBHS v Toro Atu, PGA 2.
6pm: Ravens v Flyers, PGA 2.
7.30pm: Bridge Pa v NGHS, PGA 3.