WESTLAKE BOYS RUNNERS ACHIEVE THE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE
On Saturday 17th June Westlake Boys High School competed in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in Christchurch. This year was saw one of the biggest ever fields, with close to 1000 entrants from all over the country. The Westlake Boys 33 man squad had trained hard for this race, which was certainly evident in their outstanding results on the day. The Westlake Boys Cross Country team made a clean sweep of gold medals, winning all six team contests – an amazing feat that has never been achieved in National Cross Country Champs before.
The Year 9 Boys’ six person team, consisting of Ben Ruscoe (3rd), Etienne Piere (5th) Toby Saxby (11th), Sam Berry (15th), James Hopwood (46th) and Liam Hopwood (58th), had a dominant performance with a team score of 138, 100 points less than the second place team. Similarly in the three person team Ben, Etienne and Toby scored an impressive 19 to win gold, which was also well ahead of the nearest competition on 56.
In the Junior Boys’ race the three and six person team were Blair Hill (3rd), Jude Darby (6th), Arsh Kazi (16th), Max Johnson (20th), JJ Weston (24th) and George Luty (47th). Defending their 2016 titles, the boys put in an impressive performance, winning the six person race by 160 points and the three person by 19 points.
In the 219 strong Senior Boys’ race, Westlake ran well with the winning six person team including four Year 11 boys, who were competing in the senior division for the first time. The six person team of Joe Clark (6th), Murdoch McIntyre (7th), Stuart Hofmeyr (15th), David Moore (33rd), Daniel Robertson (55th)and Zach Keenan (75th) won gold with 191 points, 59 less than the silver medallists. Lastly, the three person team won gold with 28 points, an incredible 39 points less than the runners-up.
The wins across the board were a remarkable achievement and a true testament to the boys’ dedication, commitment and hard work, and that of their tireless coach, Theuns Strydom. The team now heads off to Kenya and South Africa on Sunday on a three week trip, where they will represent Westlake in Cross Country and Road Running.
AUCKLAND SCHOLASTIC SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The second round of the Auckland Scholastic Surfing Championships Comp was held in testing 3-4 foot conditions with the odd 5 foot wave at Piha. There was some epic surfing throughout the day, especially in the U14, U16 and U18 boys’ divisions. Westlake had a strong contingent including surfers: Ollie Charlesworth, Sam Charlesworth (gaining 2nd in U14 boys) Matt Archer, Oska Gosling, Ben Counsell, Jackson Crone, Jackson Peak (4th U14 boys), Daniel Gray and Kade Scheib (4th U18 boys). Despite tough conditions, the students performed well, with Sam Charlesworth maintaining the lead in the U14 Tri-series. The next event is scheduled for June 25th. The Tri-series allows boys from Auckland schools to compete for a spot at the Nationals to be held in Gisborne later in the year.
1st XV v Orewa 1st XV – June 17
Taking nothing for granted, Orewa were up to the task in the second round of the North Harbour Competition. Orewa managed to keep possession of the ball for long periods of time and put Westlake under pressure on numerous occasions. Orewa were by far the dominant team in this opening stanza.
It took almost 30 minutes before there was a score in the match. Baylee Katipa opened the scoring and was soon followed by Max Tu’inukuafe adding a second try to give Westlake a flattering half time lead. Westlake were not up to their usual high standard and dropped the ball at crucial stages, missed tackles and did not get enough numbers to the breakdown.
Whatever the coaches said at halftime worked. Within 10 minutes at the start of the second half, Nikau Graham and Finau Paea scored tries and the game was put beyond doubt. The players had lifted their game and there seemed to be more energy and intensity in the way the team played. Two further tries from Nikau Drage and Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu sealed a comfortable victory.
Next week Westlake face Whanagarei at home and a far more disciplined effort will be required.
Scoreboard: Westlake 36 Orewa 0 (Half time 12 – 0)
Tries: Baylee Katipa; Max Tu’inukuafe; Nikau Graham; Finau Paea; Nikau Drage; Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu
Conversions: Johnny Cooper (4)
2nd and 3rd XVs
Back home the Westlake 2nd XV were taking on Mahurangi 1stXV in the toughest game of the season. Both teams were undefeated going into the game and showed an eagerness to play at pace. A quick line out by standout Jackson Ephraims saw Jarrod Ferguson punting the ball forward for Dylan Chesney to run on to and score. Just before half-time Westlake worked the ball back and forth the width of the park until No.8 Caleb MacDonald found a gap and scored. Mahurangi however were determined to make amends for their loss to Westlake in last year’s final and surged back into the game. A late converted try levelled the game 12 all, and set the stage for what is looking like another exciting Final this year between the two teams.
The 3rd XV played Albany Senior 1stX V and once again displayed some good form, winning 26-7. Try scorers included No.8 Kade Scheib, No.13 Salim Sultandi and No.6 Todd Milliken (x2).
Premier Team vs. Rangitoto College
A packed house at Rangitoto College bore witness to a clash of the heavyweights as the only two unbeaten sides left in the premier competition met head to head on the 9th June 2017. Despite huge Westlake support, Rangitoto led early at 12-7. Proving that defense was to be the story of the night, Jesse Winter, a mid-season addition due to an ankle injury to Sam Mennenga, immediately made his presence felt. He checked into the game midway through the first quarter and made it extremely hard for Rangitoto to gain a rhythm early. The score at the end of the first was 19-19.
In the second quarter, a James Moors 3 and good work around the bucket helped the boys end a 4 minute drought of scoring and Ethan Martin made his presence felt with an aggressive slash to the lane. A Thabo Manyere dunk, off a James Moors pass, got the crowd in voice and 3s from James Moors and Alex (Ash) Freeman brought Westlake back within 2 at the half, trailing 39-37.
A pull-up jumper from a struggling Reuben Fitzgerald opened the second half and this seemed to spur the Westlake team into action. James Moors gained a warning for excessive hanging on the rim after a thunderous transition dunk off an assist from Reuben Fitzgerald. Defence was proving to be the key to a victory in this match, and with Westlake struggling to execute their game plan, Rangitoto proved their 3 point shooting was the difference, taking a 62-48 lead at the end of the 3rd.
Seven straight points for Reuben Fitzgerald trimmed the deficit to 10 points midway through the final period. Successive steals led to Fitzgerald pushing the ball and gaining two quick assists. Jesse Winter and Josh Hidalgo were responsible for finishing the plays, as the lead was trimmed to 65-63. Westlake provided the clamps on defence from here on in and a Fitzgerald isolation 3 stole the game.
Final score: 74-67 – Moors 19pts/12rebs, Fitzgerald 15pts/11rebs, Manyere 13pts/19rebs.
Premier Team vs. MAGS
On the 16th June 2017 the Premier Team took on Mount Albert Grammar School at home. The opening quarter of the game was very back and forth, as the inside presence of the MAGS pairing proved difficult for Westlake to keep out of the paint. With the absence of both starting power forwards, James Moors, and starting centre Thabo Manyere, the Westlake boys had to dig deep to keep the score to a close 23-19 in MAGS’ favour at the quarter’s end.
The second quarter started off being all MAGS. The Westlake boys struggled to keep the MAGS big players off the glass, ensuring that MAGS kept the lead midway through the 2nd. However, the introduction of Jesse Winter proved a catalyst to spur the Westlake boys into action; four straight 3s gave Westlake a 44-42 lead at the half.
The third quarter began with Westlake holding off the MAGS defence, allowing the boys to get out and run on the fast break, led by Marc Malingin and Reuben Fitzgerald. This equated to a 14 point lead early in the 3rd for Westlake. However, MAGS began to grind the lead back through stiff defence and a well-executed offensive game plan, bringing the score back to a 63-59 lead for the visitors at the end of the period.
Being down going into the 4th has been the story for this year’s Westlake Premiers and this Friday proved no different. The deficit amounted to as many as seven early on in the 4th before Reuben Fitzgerald riled up the defence, leading to some quick fast break points. The Westlake boys responded well to this quickening of pace, with Matthew Cairns-Hita heating up for 8 quick points, including two 3s. The game came down to the wire, but again the Westlake team proved composed in another high pressure situation. The home side closed the game out, 85-80 and go to 7-0 on the season.
Final score: Westlake 85 – Mt Albert Grammar 80 – Fitzgerald 22pts/5ast/4reb, Winter 16pts, Cairns-Hita 14.
1st XI vs. St. Peter’s College – 16th June 2017
- Williams, D. Hobson, H. Piper, E. Tessadri, C. Foulds, M. Wood, M. Lamont, B. Kelly, J. Benbow, J. Olivier, M. Conroy
- Scopas, A. Al-Majumei, R. Wynne, D. Mitten L. Wilson
Half time score – 1-0
Full time score – 2-2
Scorers – J. Benbow, M. Conroy
The First XI travelled to St. Peter’s College to play this week’s ASSFA Premier League game on Friday evening on the SPC artificial turf.
The team were looking to build upon the winning momentum they had gathered against Mount Roskill Grammar the week before. Coach Neil Emblen selected another attacking line up, in a game that Westlake were very much looking to take three points from. However, the game did not go well from the start, with Westlake looking cagey and sloppy in possession. The side were punished midway through the first half when they failed to stop a rudimentary cross into the box and then inexplicably left the SPC striker free, 8 yards from goal, to head the ball past GK Williams. Rather than galvanising the team, the goal had the opposite effect and Westlake began to look even nervier as the half wore on.
Nevertheless, the side did finish the half on level terms, with a goal from a penalty. A blocked shot was adjudged to have been handled and the referee pointed to the spot. Joe Benbow stepped up to take the kick, coolly slotting into the bottom corner. The goal marked his 7th of the season and a fine return for the makeshift striker.
The second half saw Westlake play slightly better and they looked more intense, when with and without the ball. The increased intensity was what saw the team take the lead. NZ U17 striker, Matt Conroy, picked up the ball and ran at the SPC defence. After beating a couple of players, he fired a precise left footed drive into the bottom corner giving the GK no chance. A fine solo goal for the recently returned front man.
It now looked as if Westlake were the more likely to push ahead and put the game beyond SPC’s reach. Alas, this was not to be the case as SPC were awarded a penalty of their own. A long ball into the box, led to a clear push on the SPC attacking player. The referee put the whistle to his lips and duly awarded the spot kick. The SPC player stepped up and set GK Williams the wrong way to level the score.
Little action of note followed in the closing stanza and the game petered out to an anti-climactic finish. A point was little consolation to the Westlake side, as they had firmly set this fixture aside as a winnable contest. The lesson here must surely be that anything other than giving 100% effort and sticking to a game plan, inevitably leads to an error prone and lack lustre performance.
Nonetheless, the team must pick themselves up quickly, for Tuesday’s KO Cup game vs. MAGS at home (3:15pm) on our Turf. The team will surely be looking to right a few wrongs in their performance, as they seek to advance to the Quarter Final stages.
Rugby 1st XV vs Rangitoto College, Saturday 20th May
Despite the atrocious conditions, the top of the table class did not disappoint. Both teams came into the game unbeaten after Rangitoto had accounted for Rosmini College and Massey High School in earlier rounds. With the Woodhouse Shield up for grabs, there was a lot to play for on the day.
Both teams played some good rugby at times and gave everything for the full 70 minutes. Rangitoto had early dominance in the scrums before Westlake wrestled the advantage. The backs were prepared to run the ball and did very well in the conditions. Rangitoto had two long-range penalty attempts at goal in the first half but both came up short. Westlake created but squandered a few chances and it was only deep into referee’s optional time at the end of the first half that Tupou Afungia managed to get over the line for the opening try of the match. Casey Smith duly converted.
With the wind behind their backs, Westlake continued to dominate possession and it was only handling errors that prevented them from extending their lead and exerting their dominance. Lotu Inisi continued his mammoth work rate from the first half. He regularly took the ball up, broke tackles, drew in the opposition defence and made good metres to put Westlake on the front foot. It was no surprise, and just reward for him, when another of these runs ended in him crashing over for Westlake’s second try. Casey smith again converted, in tricky conditions. Rangitoto pressed hard in the closing minutes but the Westlake defence held strong and kept Rangitoto scoreless.
Westlake was delighted with the victory and winning back the Woodhouse Shield.
Scoreboard: Westlake 14 Rangitoto 0 (Half time 7 – 0)
Tries: Tupou Afungia; Lotu Inisi
Conversions: Casey Smith (2)
First XI Football vs Macleans College, Friday 19th May
- Williams, J. Woods, M. Wood, H. Piper, C. Foulds, M. Lamont, R. Wynne, D. Hobson, D Mitten, J. Olivier, L. Wilson
- Scopas, A. Al-Majmuei (on for L. Wilson 83rd minute) J. Scott (on for M. Lamont 65th minute), E. Tessadri (on for D. Hobson 45th minute),
Half time score – 0-0
Full time score – 0-0
The First XI looked to bounce back from a heavy defeat against Sacred Heart College with an away trip to the east of Auckland, matching up against Macleans College. They hoped to play more free-flowing football than they had in recent weeks.
The team were buoyed by the debuts of both Matt Lamont and Dylan Hobson, both of whom had suffered injuries to delay their first team bow thus far. Unfortunately, Westlake Boys were without their skipper, Bronson Kelly, who looks to be faced with at least two weeks on the side-lines, owing to an ankle injury. Matt Conroy, the talismanic international striker, is still to feature for the side due to his own injury problems. Westlake are yet in a position to get all of their best players on the field at the same time.
The opening stanza was a cagey affair with very little action of note. Westlake had the lion’s share of possession, but struggled to make any meaningful inroads with the ball. A couple of half chances fell to the feet of Levi Wilson, largely of his own making, due to some intelligent running. However, Westlake were unable to find an answer for the staunch Macleans side that they found in front of them. Goalkeeper, Bradley Williams, barely needed his gloves as Macleans had no chances of their own in the first half.
The half ended much as it had begun, with a pedestrian pace and a lack of tenacity. Half time saw Dylan Hobson’s debut curtailed as he felt a reoccurrence of his injury and, with a reshuffle of the midfield, Enzo Tessadri entered the fray.
Westlake started the second half with a greater sense of urgency and an increased vigour. The ball was now moving with a little more fluency in midfield areas and the side looked far more likely to fashion a break through. Striker Levi Wilson came close to breaking the deadlock when a ball to him saw him take an instinctive first touch to beat his marker on the turn, but his left-footed shot couldn’t find the net. A further chance came through Daniel Mitten down the left, as he drove into the box, but snatching at his shot meant that the ball missed the target.
Macleans almost opened their account when a lack of urgency to press the ball from Westlake lead to their striker bearing in on goal. However, a good save from goalkeeper Williams at the feet of the Macleans’ striker averted the danger.
At around the hour mark, it was Matt Lamont who was next to join the injury list with a back injury, a real shame for the Year 13 student as he looked in command of the midfield up to this point. He was replaced by the Year 11 winger, Jayden Scott.
The pace of the game had reverted to one similar to the first half and looked to be petering out to a dismal conclusion. Matt Wood hit a good free kick that the Macleans’ goalkeeper was equal to, but Westlake failed to follow up on the rebound.
Two incidents at the climax to the game could have seen Macleans take all three points. Firstly, only another good save from Bradley Williams prevented Macleans taking the lead. Secondly, with barely a minute left to play, an innocuous free kick, some 35 metres from goal, was struck by a Macleans player. What appeared to be a rudimentary catch from Williams, was left to chance by him and as it went over his head, it cannoned off the cross bar, for the Westlake defence to scramble clear. This incident marked the end of a match that cannot be considered as a good advert for the First XI.
A slightly lacklustre display, coupled with a lack of tenacious intent, will have left the side feeling this was very much two points lost, rather than one gained. Westlake’s next fixture sees them start their knock out cup campaign.
Premier Basketball vs Auckland Grammar School, 19th May
Auckland Grammar School visited Westlake Boys High in arguably the game of the round in the Auckland Premier Grade basketball on Friday, May 19th as two of the top four sides from last season went head to head. Despite a second straight thirty points haul from Tom Higgins, a more balanced home- side scoring effort prevailed, with Westlake recording an 85-78 win in front of a good-sized crowd.
Campbell Green opened the scoring for Auckland Grammar but point guard Josh Hidalgo scored a couple of baskets worthy of a highlights reel and Reuben Fitzgerald knocked down a pair of jump shots as Westlake forged a handy 23-13 first quarter lead.
Green executed a couple of strong baseline drives to give AGS impetus, but a dunk and then a left- handed put-back from Thabo Manyere put a stop to that. Westlake led 33-24 with AGS coach Dave Mackay needing a time out.
An Anzac Risetto tip-in got AGS on the move again. Manyere scored in transition but play was interrupted by a spate of fouls at the back end of the first half; one the hosts were content with as they led 38-28. Fitzgerald, with 10 points, led all scorers at the break.
Manyere showed his versatility by landing a triple to open the second half, but five quick points from the tireless Tom Higgins and a reverse lay-up from Leroy Brown kept AGS in contention. Westlake coach Zac Fitzgerald wasn’t happy with his team’s start to the half and called a timeout with offensive turnovers high on his agenda. A Matthew Cairns-Hita three helped Westlake’s cause, as did Malingin’s transition points. Teancum McCarthy defied the tall timber to grab an offensive rebound and put-back and when Brown scored on the break the scores were levelled, 55 apiece. At three-quarter time Westlake were protecting the slimmest of leads at 60-59.
In the final quarter, a Moors’ three followed by a mid-range jumper moved Westlake 67-61 ahead. Cairns-Hita extended the lead to 73-61 with a transition basket before AGS became more and more dependent on their go-to man Higgins. He had 27 points in the second half alone but, despite his best efforts, Westlake was always able to retain close to a ten points buffer in the final stanza.
The lead was 81-69 after a score from Ethan Martin, who had a fine game, and despite late baskets from McCarthy, Higgins and Brown, the hosts controlled the closing minutes to record a second straight win.
Score: Westlake 85 – Manyere 17pts/13rebs, Moors 15pts/6 blocks, Hidalgo 14, Cairns-Hita 12. Auckland Grammar 78 – Higgins 33, Brown 10, McCarthy 9
The National Tennis Championships were held at Scarbro Tennis Centre in Auckland, between the top eight schools in the country. Westlake Boys’ first fixture was against St Kentigern College, one of the tournament favourites. All our players tried hard but only Chris Zhang was able to win his singles match, with some outstanding shots. Our next opponents were Christ’s College, the Christchurch champions. We lost 2-4 but Chris Zhang once again played extremely well, defeating the under 17 national champion. Bailey Sutton also played a very solid game to win his match.
On Wednesday Westlake played Hamilton Boys High School and sealed a very satisfying 6-0 victory. The team then played doubles matches against Tauranga Boys High School, but suffered their most disappointing loss, 1-5. Up against Auckland Grammar next, Westlake fought hard with a 3 – 3 result losing on a countback. Chris was back on form again and combined with Harry Browning to win their doubles. Aden Borlase-Mills also played well for another win.
Despite some challenges with rain, venues, traffic and injuries, the standard of tennis played by the team was outstanding and resulted in a 7th placing at Nationals.
Team: Chris Zhang No1, Leo Cho No2, Harry Browning No3, Bailey Sutton No4, Aden Borlase-Mills No5.
The Premier Water polo team gained 5th place at the North Island Championships. They only narrowly missed out on a top four place and made solid improvements over the last few days of competition. Westlake were pleased to beat Rosmini 8-3 on Sunday morning and are hopeful of gaining a top four place at Nationals, as they certainly have the skills to do so.
3 x 3 BASKETBALL
The Westlake 3 on 3 basketball team came 3rd at nationals in Tauranga. They fought hard over the opening two days of the competition play to be placed equal top in their pool. However, they lost key player James Moors to an ankle injury in the process. They had to play the final five games of the competition, including the knockout rounds, without a sub. The semi-final was a narrow four point loss to Palmerston North, which showed the strength of character in the boys.
Team: James Moors, Thabo Manyere, Rueben Fitzgerald and Joshua Hidalgo.
Westlake Boys’ Junior Orienteering team experienced outstanding success at the Auckland Sprint finals, taking all the medals:
1st – Campbell Syme
2nd – Alex Jobbins
3rd – Hayden Williams
Nathan Borton came 7th.
In the New Zealand Rogaine Championships, the Westlake Boys team of Taylor Haynes, Ashton Philo and Charl Urlich came 3rd in the four hour event.
After a day and a half delay due to wet weather, Westlake were finally able to kick off their summer sports week T20 tournament at Waikaraka Park against Mount Albert Grammar. Westlake won the toss and elected to bat first on a ‘sticky pitch’ and struggled to 109/9 after their 20 overs. Jock McKenzie’s score of 29 off 34 balls was the only one of note. This small total was always going to be hard to defend but Westlake’s effort got off to a great start, restricting MAGs to 12-4 by the 5th over, mainly due to some very good bowling by Jock McKenzie. MAGs recovered, but at 75-6 after 16 overs they still required another 35 runs off just 24 balls. Their lower order batted very well and got them to within 7 with one over remaining. It was a real nail biter and it came down to 1 run required off 1 ball. Unfortunately, MAGs were able to score it, winning by 3 wickets. Pick of the bowlers was Jock McKenzie with 3-14 in 4 overs.
OTHER WEEKEND SPORTS FIXTURES
The Premier A Tennis team played St Kentigern College 2 on Saturday, April 1. All members of the team played well and had an excellent 6 – 0 win, despite being very tired after a week playing tennis for the school at Nationals.
Team: Chris Zhang, Harry Browning, Bailey Sutton, Aden Borlase-Mills
WBHS 1stXV RUBGY v DE LA SALLE
The official start to the North Harbour rugby season is still more than a month away but already the 1st XV preparations are in full swing. Saturday saw the first pre-season game against De La Salle College, in what turned out to be a very exciting and promising opener. Unfortunately the team had its numbers severely depleted with injuries sustained in the earlier 7s and 10s tournaments. Also missing were players representing Westlake at volleyball and water polo. This, however, presented opportunities for several newcomers, who admirably stepped up to the challenge.
The game began as a real arm wrestle, with both sides probing hard at each other’s defences. Several opportunities on attack were thwarted by De La Salle infringements. Brady Rush was unlucky not to score after a quick tap. Eventually, De La Salle broke through at the opposite end to go 5-0 up at half time. Forwards Coach, Brad Emslie, would have to be happy with the line-outs as locks Harry Forbes and Jackson Tu’inukuafe secured quick, clean ball. While De La Salle used their weight advantage in the scrums, the Westlake forwards performed extremely well at the breakdown.
With time running out, Westlake found themselves 10-0 down but responded with an amazing period of relentless attack on the try line. Flynn Willemse dived over, only to be ruled held up in goal. Blake de Nys had yet another crack at the line. De la Salle made a quick run with the ball until loosehead Ben Mitchell stole it back. After several more pick and goes, half back Jackson Ephraims spun the ball out to Brady Rush who slipped an inside ball to send Finau Paea diving over the line for a try. Casey Smith slotted the conversion taking the final score to 7-10.
2016 Westlake Boys Premier Basketball National Tournament
During the first week of the school holidays Westlake Boys Premier Basketball Team took part in the Secondary Schools National Tournaments. After our Zone 1 Qualification Tournament we had been placed in Pool A, along with our local rival Rangitoto. The other four teams in Pool A were Otago Boys and Cashmere from Zone 4 and Melville and Hillcrest from Zone 2. Being placed in a strong pool we knew games were going to be tough from day 1.
Monday Pool Game 1: v Cashmere (Christchurch), 87-72
We had a good first win to start the Tournament. All 12 boys managed to get some good court time in the win. Captain Isaac Letoa played very well top scoring with 24 points and Luke Day shoot extremely well, he hit 4 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.
Monday Pool Game 2: v Otago Boys (Dunedin), 80-61
In our second game against teams from the South Island, we had another solid win against Otago Boys. We had our noses in front for all the whole game, but it was tight until we pulled away in the 4th quarter. The scoring and minutes were well shared around again in this win. Reuben Fitzgerald top scored with 15 points and Marc Malingin had great game hitting all 5 of his shots for 12 points.
Tuesday Pool Game 3: v Hillcrest (Hamilton), 99-83
After coming away with two wins the day before, we were looking to make it three from three in our game against Hillcrest. In a high scoring game we got ahead early and kept up our good offensive production throughout the game. All boys played well and the scoring was shared around in the win. Vice-Captain Greg Vukets top scored in this game with 16 points and Scott Telfer had a great game on both ends pouring in 12 points to go along with 9 rebounds.
Tuesday Pool Game 4: v Melville (Hamilton), 79-68
We knew Melville would be tough pool game and they shot extremely well from everywhere on the floor. After a tight start to the game, we started to wear Melville down. Westlake Boys put extremely efficient defensive pressure on Melville and did not let them settle into their offensive game. Other great win, four from four in two days. This win also meant that we were through to the quarterfinals, as one of the top two teams in Pool A. Isaac Letoa stepped up and lead from the front in this game, having a great all-round game, 22 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Big man James Moors added a superb double-double, 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Wednesday Pool Game 5: v Rangitoto (Auckland), 77-98
In our final pool game we had the top seed for the Tournament and the team who beat us in the final to be 2015 National Champions and local rival, Rangitoto College. Both teams had already qualified for the Quarterfinals as the two top teams in the Pool, so it was a game to see who would go through top. Rangitoto started out very strong and where hitting every shot they took, gaining an early lead at the end of the first quarter. Our boys fought well but the initial lead was too much to overcome and we had our first loss of the Tournament. All 12 players managed to get on the scoreboard, with Isaac Letoa and James Moors leading the wat with 18 and 11 points repectively.
Thursday Quarterfinal Game: v Palmerston North Boys, 94-97
This was a huge game for both teams, as the winner would go through to the semis and the other would only be able to playoff for 5th-8th. Westlake had another slow start which put us behind from the get go. It was not until the 4th quarter when we had a great run that we got back into the game. After being down 15 points going into the final quarter, Westlake flicked a switch and hit here straps offensively. Isaac Letoa took over the game, hitting shots and driving hard at the hoop. After cutting the lead, both James Moors and Luke Day made huge 3-pointers to give us a chance to win it. After closing the gap to 2 points with under 20 seconds to go. Captain Letoa drove hard to the hoop and put up a tough layup that rolled over Palmerston North Boys 7 foot Centre that unfortunately rolled around the hoop and out. After staging a huge comeback in the 4th quarter it was a tough way for the boys to go out, but they had played until the final minute and given themselves every chance to try and win it. Isaac Letoa was very impressive in the lost getting 32 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. James Moors had another key double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Thabo Manyere had an awesome game keeping Palmerston North Boys big Centre in check on the defensive end, whilst pulling in 15 huge rebounds and adding 9 points.
Friday 5-8 Game: v Kelston (Auckland), 102-51
After dropping our quarterfinal game the previous day we really wanted to strike back against familiar foe Kelston Boys and strike back we did. The boys bounced back extremely well, especially on the offensive end scoring 33 points in the 1st quarter. Kelston were never really in the game after this and all the boys got a solid run and were able to contribute to the big score. Greg Vukets once again top scored with 27 points. Marc Malingin, Reuben Fitzgerald and James Moors all also scored in double figures for the game.
Saturday 5-6 Placing Game: v Rosmini (Auckland), 79-88
In a very familiar finals match up of the Tournament it saw the two teams from the Shore take on each other once again, for 5th and 6th placing. Westlake and Rosmini had met four time previously, with Rosmini having had the wood on us all year. Unfortunately this did not change in this game, we started slow once again and then could never quite win back the lead. Our boys played well but it was not to be and we finished up a very respectable 6th in the Nation, in a very tough Secondary School National Tournament. Isaac Letoa lead the boys extremely well in his last game as Captain, scoring a huge 30 points and being an unstoppable force on the offensive end.
All the boys had a great tournament and contributed well. The five 7th form boys, Isaac Letoa, Greg Vukets, Thabo Manyere, Scott Telfer and Luke Day, had an awesome final tournament in the Westlake Green, Red and White and showed great leadership. The younger boys, James Moors, Josh Hidalgo, Marc Malingin, Reuben Fitzgerald, Ethan Martin, Lucas Mennenga and Alex Freeman will all be hungry to come back and try and improve in 2017!
Isaac Letoa had an exceptional tournament on both ends of the floor and was named in the Tournament Team, and showing why he is one of the best high school players in the country. He has been a great player for Westlake Basketball over the past three years, always extremely hardworking, committed. He will be missed, along with all our 7th form leavers.
On Friday night Westlake Boys Premier Basketball team played its second home game of the season, against Liston College. Westlake got off to a quick start behind some thunderous dunks from big man Thabo Manyere and some easy baskets in the paint from our guards, Marc Malingin and Josh Hidalgo. Defensively the team were rebounding well and able to push the ball up the floor and were up 27 -12 at the first break.
Westlake continued the second period as they had finished the first, with Scott Telfer scoring both sides of the break. During the second quarter behind some great rebounding from everyone on the floor, especially Lucas Mennenga (12 rebounds), Telfer (11) and Manyere (10), Westlake managed to push its lead out to 30 points at the half, leading 56 – 26.
Liston came out of the changing room after halftime firing on all cylinders, and Westlake did not match their intensity and effort to begin the third quarter. Liston drove inside on offense and forced Westlake into some costly turnovers on the defensive end and they started the quarter on a 14 – 7 run. Coach Campbell called a timeout to try and refocus the Westlake Boys team. It did the trick and Westlake managed to get the momentum back to end the quarter behind some great effort plays on both ends, dominating the boards once again and looking after the ball. After a big scare in the third quarter Westlake was still in the lead at 79 – 46.
Westlake continued the effort from the end of the third quarter into the fourth quarter. Liston kept playing hard. The combination of players Westlake used in the final quarter of Greg Vukets, Luke Day, Scott Telfer, James Moors, Lucas Mennenga and Ethan Martin, used their length to dominate the boards and make it tough for Liston to get inside the paint. When the final whistle blew, Westlake had managed a 101 – 60 win over a very spirited Liston team.
Scott Telfer had a very effective game, showing lots of effort on the floor collecting a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Thabo Manyere also managed a double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds. James Moors had great all-around game, top scoring with 16 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Greg Vukets scored 15 points to go with 4 assists and 4 steals. Lucas Mennenga did an awesome job on the boards pulling in 12 rebounds and scoring 7 points.