Written by Mike Lacey, laceylowdown.com
The Breakers Academy continued their winning ways with a hard fought win against the Mai 88 Sixers in round 8 of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam.
The Sixers jumped to an early 11-8 lead but the injection of Reuben Te Rangi from the bench - not a bad sixth man – started an 11-0 Breakers run and they led 19-14 at the end of the first period.
Brooke Ruscoe, making his first appearance of the season, nailed a triple to open the second period and then added a pair of freebies to put the Sixers back in front. The lead didn’t last long as the young forward pairing of Yuat Alok and Tai Wynyard made their presence felt, combining for 18 first half points. Hayden Allen scored four first half threes for the Sixers but they trailed 45-37 at half time.
A Shea Ili ‘and one’ play opened the Breakers second half account, Tyler Kerlin responded in kind for the Sixers. Kerlin and Allen provided the bulk of the scoring for the Sixers in the third period but the Breakers enjoyed a much better balanced offensive output as they led 65-58 with ten minutes remaining.
Hayden Miller scored a couple of buckets early in the final stanza but Jordan Ngatai scored 10 quick points including two from beyond the three point arc to take the Breakers to a 75-69 lead with 6:03 to play. A corner three from Isaac Letoa and a thundering Te Rangi drive stretched the Breakers lead into double figures before Allen and Robson Tavita responded, 83-76 with 2:30 remaining, and the game in the balance. Any thought the Sixers had of stopping the Breakers four game winning sequence were quashed by Brad Anderson, Leota and Te Rangi who scored the last 12 points of the game to give the final scoreline a slightly distorted look to what was a good quality competitive game.
Mai 88 Sixers 76 – Allen 29, Kerlin 12, Morgan Natanahira 9 Breakers Development 95 – Anderson 17, Te Rangi 13, Ili 12, Alok 12, Wynyard 12
Game two was a high scoring affair as the high riding Save Youthtown defeated the Birdmen in a tight one – 107-99. Both teams had five players in double figures as the scoreboard kept ticking over at a good clip. The Birdmen ended the first period 29-25 in the ascendancy but a dominant second quarter from Youthtown (35-25) opened up an advantage that a team boasting the experienced Dillon Boucher and a fit again Lindsay Tait is unlikely to give up. So it proved, the Birdmen edged the final period but it wasn’t enough to get the W.
Save Youthtown 107 – Ana Haku 20, Tait 19, Patrich Bolstad 18, Derone Raukawa 17, Boucher 11 The Birdmen – Johnny Fesolai 21, Casey Frank 16, Kane Keil 15, Karl Noyer 15, Jahlal Ibrahim 14
Standings after Round 8 Save Youthtown 7-1 Breakers Development 5-3 MaiFM 88 Sixers 3-5 The Birdmen 1-7