Premier Basketball v Rosmini, 26th May
On Friday 26th May the Premier Basketball team played its first ‘grudge’ match of the season, against Rosmini College. Having lost all five games last year, the Westlake Boys were ready to start the year’s rivalry with a win on home court. The largest crowd of the season attended this game as both Westlake and Rosmini supporters came wearing school colours to what was the first clash of the two heavyweights for the year.
Westlake started slowly, going down 12-4 but a comeback looked on the cards as Thabo Manyere sparked the boys into action with an early poster off a pinpoint lob from Josh Hidalgo. Marc Malingin brought energy off the bench with 5 quick points and Westlake only trailed by two at quarter time, 18-20.
Westlake continued the run after the quarter as Reuben Fitzgerald slashed into the lane, scoring 6 quick points. Another dunk for Thabo Manyere preceded some good inside scoring from the Rosmini power forward, Mitchell Dance. However James Moors closed the half with 5 of his 15 first half points, giving Westlake the lead, 41-35.
Thabo Manyere brought the crowd to their feet as he gained his third body of the game, dunking on Rosmini’s Reihana Maxwell-Topia, however his presence was limited as he headed to the bench with three fouls. The Westlake duo of Reuben Fitzgerald and James Moors kept the team afloat with some efficient work off the pick and roll, extending the lead to 52-45. However, the Rosmini boys would not go away as this lead was cut to 52-50 after a series of missed field goals by the Westlake boys. Thabo Manyere again scored on his reintroduction to the game, and the lead was extended to 61-56 after three quarters.
The 4th quarter was all Westlake as Thabo Manyere, James Moors and Lucas Mennenga locked down the paint. Josh Hidalgo provided his usual clamps, as Rosmini found it extremely difficult to score. Winning the battle of the boards was key in Westlake grinding this game out, as Reuben Fitzgerald iced the contest with 10 straight points. The final score was 82-64 in Westlake’s favour.
James Moors led all scorers with 24 points in addition to 11 rebounds. Reuben Fitzgerald and Thabo Manyere both contributed with 21 and 17 points respectively and both contributing 5 rebounds. Marc Malingin’s energy off the bench proved vital – contributing 9 points, with 3 steals and 3 assists.
Premier Basketball v St Kentigern College, 29th May
The first Monday night game of the year tipped off at 7:30pm as the Premier’s took on newly-promoted St. Kentigern College at home in the top gym. The Westlake team started off slow, losing the first quarter 21-13.
Marc Malingin again proved to be a spark off the bench as he slashed to the rack on his way to 11 second quarter points. Coach Zac Fitzgerald implemented a press and, led by Josh Hidalgo, this proved a catalyst for the Westlake turn around as the home side took the advantage 46-40 at the half.
Missing the inside presence of James Moors, Westlake were unable to stop the driving of St. Kent’s big man, Max Shorter. However his lack of solid support proved telling as Westlake took a 67-49 advantage at the end of three quarters.
Shorter continued his dominance in the 4th quarter, on his way to a game high 30 points. However nine 4th quarter points from Reuben Fitzgerald sealed the somewhat unconvincing win for Westlake. They will need to go back to the drawing board to prepare for their next game against defending national champions Rangitoto College on June the 9th. Final score – 84-76.
Marc Malingin had a standout performance off the bench with 23 points, Reuben Fitzgerald contributed with 18 and Thabo Manyere and Josh Hidalgo both chipped in with 12 and 11 points respectively.