Aon Under 19 National Championship Grand Finals Set for tip off

Aon Under 19 National Championship Grand Finals Set for tip off
The men’s and women’s finalists have been found at the Aon Under 19 National Championships being played in Dunedin. The women’s final between North Harbour and Waikato will be played at 3pm tomorrow (Tuesday 4 June), followed by the men’s final between North Harbour and Auckland at 4:45pm. Both games will be livestreamed on Stuff.co.nz, www.NZ.basketball/tv and the @BasketballNZ Facebook page.

With the scores tied 69 points apiece at three-quarter time it looked as if the Waitaha Canterbury versus Harbour men’s semi-final would go down to the wire. However the defending champions were blown away in the final period outscored 31-9 by Harbour with Junior Tall Black Sam Mennenga unleashing a 15 points assault in the last ten minutes.

Taine Murray nailed 23 points, Marvin Williams-Dunn slotted in 14 while Harry Payne and Sean Murphy scored 10 points each.

Canterbury dominated the early proceedings thanks to the efforts of Thomas Webley, Mac Stodart (19pts) and Ben Carlile-Smith (13pts). Wesley was a colossus scoring a game high 35 points to go with 11 rebounds and was unlucky to be on the losing team.


In the second semi-final Auckland outscored Wellington 24-4 in the opening five minutes and never looked back from that point. The quarter lead was 32-16 ballooning out to 60-28 at half-time. Wellington put together a spirited effort in the second half but it was a forlorn task trying to repair the early damage and they eventually went down 92-76.

Auckland captain Logan McIntosh (12pts) led from the front well supported by Junior Tall Black Jaga Mete-Smith (13pts), Brandon Robb (15pts) and forwards Nate Wilson (12pts) and Josh Leger (16pts). For Wellington Finn McClure (18pts),  Haven Dixon (17pts) and Evyator Tabor (14pts) led the second half revival.

In the women’s final, old foes North Harbour and Waikato will meet after successfully negotiating their semi-finals. The two teams have contested two of the last three championship games and four of the previous nine. Waikato defeated Waitaha Canterbury 70-60 and Harbour overcame Taranaki 84-63.

Waikato established a double figure lead in the opening quarter and held the advantage throughout. Ella Bradley had 14 of her game high 22 points in the first half as Waikato carved out a 39-25 lead, still held a 14 points advantage at the last break, and controlled proceedings in the fourth. Koha Lewis and Tyler Mitchell with 14 points apiece joined Bradley in double figures.

Helen Mathews shot 8 from 13 from the field for a very efficient 22 points and fellow Canterbury Wildcat Rosalia Samia scored 10. Sophie Adams was tireless in the paint picking up a neat double of 16 points and 16 rebounds but her efforts couldn’t deny Waikato.

In the second semi-final Harbour, after leading by five-points (32-27) at half-time, pulled clear in the third frame outscoring Taranaki 26-12 with Jordyn Maddix (12pts) and Hannah Wentworth (11pts) both making triples. Emme Shearer put up 18 points and 9 rebounds, Rashaan Smith scored 13 points and Jess Moors 10.

Paris Mason led the Taranaki effort with 12 points, Caitlin O’Connell had 8 assists to go with 11 points and Raquel Sampson went close to a double double adding 14 rebounds to 9 points.

Aon Nationals Men’s Semi-finals:

Harbour 100 – S Mennenga 29/11r, T Murray 23, M Williams-Dunn 14/5a, S Murphy 10, H Payne 10
Waitaha Canterbury 78 – T Wesley 35/11r, M Stodart 19, B Carlisle-Smith 13/11r/5a

Auckland 92 -  J Leger 16, J B Robb 15, J Mete-Smith 13, N Wilson 12, L McIntosh 12
Wellington 76 - F McClure 18, H Dixon 17/10r, E Tabor 14, M Collins 10, J Trego-To’o 8

Aon Nationals Women’s Semi-Finals:

Waikato 70 – E Bradley 22/10r, T Mitchell 14, K Lewis 14, K Leef 9, R Walker-Pitman 8/5a 
Waitaha Canterbury 60 – H Mathews 20, S Adams 16/16r, R Samia 12, E Knight 6, S Porter 6

Harbour 84 – E Shearer 18/9r, R Smith 13, J Maddix 12, H Wentworth 11, J Moors 10
Taranaki 63 – P Mason 12, C O’Connell 11/8a, R Sampson 9/14r, E Poole 9, I Cook 8

More information:

Livestream: In addition to being streamed on @BasketballNZ facebook and www.nz.baskteball/tv the two grand finals will also be livestreamed on www.stuff.co.nz
Merchandise: https://bbnz.shopdesq.com/event-merch/aon-merch
Rosters, Draws and Results and more info: http://www.nz.basketball/Competitions/Reps/Aon-U19-Nationals 
About Aon: Aon is a leading global professional services firm with 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries. In New Zealand, Aon is the leading provider of insurance broking, risk management and associated services with over 950 staff in 65 offices, managing renewal placements and related revenues in excess of NZD $1 billion. For more information about Aon’s sponsorship of Basketball New Zealand please visit the website here: https://www.aon.co.nz/About-Aon/Sponsorships/Basketball-NZ or email sponsorshipsnz@aon.com  

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