2017 Mexicali Fresh Champions

Written by Mike Lacey - Courtesy of laceylowdown.com

Women's Final Re-cap

The combined scoring power of Tall Fern forward Deena Franklin and young Massey High shooting guard Shauna Povey carried Storm to a convincing 99-70 win against Suns in the Women’s 2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam final at Atlas Place on Saturday.

The pair combined for 61 points with shooting splits that Suns were unable to match – 20/32 field goals, 6/9 threes and 15 from 20 freebies.

Povey set the tone in the first quarter connecting with her first three scoring attempts – all dropping from behind the arc – to help Storm to an early 26-20 lead.

The lead became 48-36 at the interval with Millie Nathan complimenting the work of Franklin in the paint.

Olivia Berry and Franklin combined well in some pick and roll action early in the third but three straight scores from Luye Murphy and a drive from Tabitha Jenkins pulled Sun to within three points (51-48).

Jazz and Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu were working hard under the boards and they helped keep the Suns in touch before a late surge courtesy of Allahna Hughes and Bella Elgar took Storm to a 70-55 three-quarter time lead.

The final frame was dominated by Storm as Povey landed her fifth triple of the game, Stevee-Rose Theyers chimed in with a couple from long range and Franklin continued to dominate in the paint. 29 points from Storm in the fourth put paid to any ray of hope Suns had of a bright final quarter finish.

Storm 99 – Povey 33, Franklin 28, Berry 14, Theyers 6, Nathan 6

Suns 70 – Murphy 16, J Kailahi-Fulu 13, Z Kailahi-Fulu 13, T Jenkins 10

Men's Final Re-cap

Kevin Braswell scored a game high 42 points to lead Birdmen to the 2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam title with an ultimately convincing 123-107 victory against Railsplitters.

Birdmen led at every quarter-time break but Railsplitters, with Jaylen Gerrand, Judson Seumanu and Samson Aruwa in good form, only trailed 103-95 with four minutes to play.

At that point the former Southlands Sharks and Breakers standout put the hammer down, or put more accurately put on a shooting clinic.

He reeled off 11 straight points including a couple of trademark threes buried off the dribble. An assist for a Brandon Lucas dunk sealed the deal as a tight single digit advantage was blown out to a twenty points lead in a little over two minutes.

Earlier Juan Cruz Colla, Tinashe Matambanadzo, Dom Kelman-Poto, back from representing New Zealand Maori against the Australian Indigenous team in Cairns last week, held sway in the opening half to help Birdmen to a 63-51 half-time lead.

Another NZ Maori representative Judson Seumanu along with Gerrand kept Railsplitters in touch at the last break – down 90-81.

Birdmen stretched the lead to 103-86 early in the fourth but Gerrand, Will Heather, the Aruwa brothers and Zack Te Puni responded to pull Railsplitters back to that 103-95 margin.

From then on it was all Braswell who ruled the roost as he scored 16 of Birdmen’s last twenty points.

Birdmen 123 – Braswell 42, Matambanadzo 31, Colla 19, Lucas 17, Kelman-Poto 10

Railsplitters 107 – Gerrand 24, Samson Aruwa 21, Seumanu 18, Heather 14, Sam Aruwa 12

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