This Recap was written by Mike Lacey,
Round three of the 2015 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam opened with a full strength Breakers Development carrying out a second half demolition of 68NelsonStreet winning 127-85.
The Breakers welcomed back Jordan Ngatai and Tai Wynyard who were both in Melbourne with the SKYCITY Breakers last week and also Finn Delany who has finished his year at Otago University and now joined the Breakers programme on a full time basis for the rest of the season.
On the other hand 68NelsonStreet had just 7 players suited due to university commitments and also a serious throat injury sustained by Dillon Boucher in the game against the Birdmen last week.
One encounter to savour in the game was the battle between current Tall Blacks point guards Lindsay Tait and Shea Ili. The encounter was a delight to behold as both players, in their differing styles, fought to give their team an advantage – the 68’s holding sway 46-43 at half time – Manny Matambanadzo finishing the half with a six points flourish.
68’s forwards Ana Haku and Johnny Fesolai did well to contain Tai Wynyard, Jordan Ngatai and Sam Waardenburg in the early exchanges but a fourth foul picked up by Fesolai late in the second quarter was to prove costly for the 68’s.
Early in the second half Ngatai rose powerfully to block a shot at the defensive end and completed the next possession with a hook shot to reduce the arrears to a single point. Dan Fotu put his team ahead on the Breakers next attack, 51-50, and from there the hosts dominated the game.
Fesolai, Haku and Matt Freeman all fouled out in the fourth quarter, reducing the 68’s to just four players on court, as a rampant Breakers team won the second half 84-39 to seal their second win in the competition.
The Tait v Ili bout was a close affair with the veteran Tait (30pts) keeping pace with emerging Ili (32pts).
Breakers Development 127 –Ili 32, Wynyard 25, Ngatai 19, Fotu 16.
68NelsonStreet 85 – Tait 30, Haku 16, Matambanadzo 13, Freeman 11
The second game was another free scoring affair that featured some quality guards. The Birdmen boasted a backcourt trio of Kevin Braswell, Josh Bloxham and Carl Buck. Former Tall Black Hayden Allen and Houston O’Riley led the Mai88 Sixers.
The Sixers forged a 17-13 early lead but the Birdmen eased ahead 28-25 at quarter time, extended to 61-50 at half time. The shoot out between Braswell and Allen was shaded by the American 23pts -21pts. Sixers forward Nick Barrow (14pts) was the only other player in double figures at the break.
The Sixers threatened to narrow the gap in the second half but the experience of the Birdmen guards and forwards Casey Frank and Robson Tavita always ensured the ten points buffer built by the Birdmen was never breached.
Mai88 Sixers 110 – Allen 36, Barrow 26, O’Riley 13, Jahlal Ibrahim 10
Birdmen 100 – Braswell 41, Buck 22, Bloxham 20, Frank 16,
The Waikato sisters Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker debuted for opposing teams in the third round of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam. Older sister Krystal sunk an early three for the Suns but it was the Storm that made the strongest start leading 31-16 at quarter time thanks to 10 points from Milomilo Nanai.
Charlisse gave a satisfactory smile as she converted a sideline triple over her sister’s outstretched arm and with Jordan Hunter complimenting Charlisse and Nanai the lead extended to 51-34 at half-time.
Player-coach Jody Cameron put the heat on the Suns at the break and it did provoke a response as Tiarna Clarke, Kelcy Ballantyne and Breeze Leonard penetrated the Storm defence in the third quarter.
However the Suns struggled to contain their opposition offence and could do little to threaten the Storm’s advantage eventually going down 80-66.
Suns 69 – Ballantyne 12, Clarke 10, K Leger-Walker 9, Leonard 8,
Storm 80 – Hunter 24, Nanai 20, C Leger-Walker 18
In the other game of the third round the performances of a player returning from US college basketball and the other with the dream of securing a college scholarship caught the eye.
Westlake student Zara Jillings one day hopes to be heading to a university in the USA and her 37 points performance for team Sky demonstrated that is likely to become a reality in the next year or two.
Breana Jones has recently returned to New Zealand after a year at the University of Hawaii and she was almost as prominent as team Sky led by 19 points at quarter time and a whopping 58-28 at half time.
Sparks players Hailey Purcell, Rebecca Hughes and Megan Craig did their best to stem the flow of points but a combined 12 three point baskets from the ‘J Attack’ of Jillings, Jones and Jess Nicholson meant the result was never in doubt.
Sparks 68 – Purcell 16, Hughes 15, Craig 13,
Sky 103 – Jillings 37, Jones 21, Nicholson 12, Ayla Hoeta 12
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