Written by Mike Lacey: courtesy of laceylowdown.com
Round two of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam featured two overtime games, another comeback of monstrous proportions and a game where one basket separated the teams after 274 points were scored.
In the Men’s competition a much-improved Breakers Development team took 68A Nelson Street into overtime before eventually going down 114-98.
After the scores were tied at 93 points apiece in regulation the SKYCITY Breakers duo of Mitch Newton and Derone Raukawa showed the young apprentices how it’s done in OT.
The pair, having been named in the Tall Blacks extended squad last week, celebrated by scoring all of the 21 points accumulated by Nelson Street in the additional five minutes.
Earlier Anzac Rissetto and Zack Te Puni got the Breakers off to a good start – a balanced attack helping them to a 51-44 half-time advantage.
Seven points in the third frame from Harry Clarke benefitted the Breakers cause but a couple of triples from Newton and inside points from Will Heather and Dillon Boucher closed the gap at three-quarter time – 70-68.
Carl Buck and Brooke Ruscoe propelled Nelson Street on a 10-3 run before Dan Fotu scored five points to tie the game at 78 points apiece with five minutes to play.
It was a one-possession game throughout the closing minutes with a Raukawa three giving Nelson Street a 93-91 lead inside the final thirty seconds. Te Puni calmly converted a pair of freebies to tie the contest and Caleb Langridge ensured additional time was required with an athletic block on Newton’s potential game winning shot.
However Newton and Raukawa had the final say in overtime to give Nelson Street the win.
68A Nelson Street 109 – Newton 31, Raukawa 24, Ruscoe 10, Boucher 10, Haku 10
Breakers Development 98 – Fotu 19, Te Puni 17, Clarke 17, Dance 13, Maxwell-Topia 12
The second game was an offensive onslaught – a shoot-out at the Breakers Corral – as Birdmen beat Railsplitters 138-136. The two major gunslingers were Hayden Allen who set a season best 48 points for Railsplitter and Quinn Clinton who put together a quiet 43 points for Birdmen.
72-69 can often be a fulltime score but that was the half-time tally – edged by Birdmen – as Kevin Braswell, Brandon Lucas and Dominique Kelman-Poto gave Clinton good support.
It was 106-107 at the three-quarter mark and never much in it in the closing stages as the two teams traded blow for blow.
James Hunter, Jaylen Gerrand and the Aruwa brothers gave Allen plenty of support but in the end it was Clinton and the Birdmen that fired the extra bullet to seal the win.
The Birdmen 138 – Clinton 43, Kelman-Poto 27, Braswell 23, Lucas 17, Matambanadzo 12
Railsplitters 136 – Allen 48, Hunter 28, Samson Aruwa 18, Gerrand 18, Samuel Aruwa 15
As last week the Women’s competition provided the comeback of the day although, as on that occasion, it wasn’t quite enough to seal the win.
Team Sky allowed Sparks to build a 26-4 first quarter advantage but fought back admirably before eventually going down 57-52.
Sharne Pupuke-Robati (8pts) and Tayla Dalton (6pts), both back from Asia Cup duty in India, scored fourteen of the first quarter points for Sparks and with Rikki Fiatau adding half a dozen they were in total command at the quarter break.
Hannah Wentworth started something of a revival for Sky but they trailed 45-18 at the interval.
The Sky comeback continued in the second half courtesy of Ashley Kelman-Poto, Amanda Buck and Wentworth. The Orewa College guard knocked down her third triple of the game in the middle of the final stanza but it wasn’t quite enough as Sparks hung on for the win.
Sky 52 – Wentworth 17, Kelman-Poto 15, Buck 7, Tini 6
Sparks 57 – Pupuke-Robati 17, Dalton 15, Fiatau 10
The second overtime game of the day was won 90-86 by the Suns weathering the Storm comeback after the scores were tied 75 each after fourty minutes.
Suns led 36-32 at half-time courtesy of 11 points from hard working forward Jazz Kailahi-Fulu and triples from Tabitha Jenkins and Morgan Ili.
Bella Elgar was the best for Storm at the break scoring 10 points.
Suns stretched their lead to ten points (51-41) in the third but seven points in the period from Stevee-Rose Theyers helped rectify that matter as Sky stole a 56-53 lead at the three-quarter break.
Neither side could forge a telling advantage in the final stanza although Emme Shearer looked to have sealed the win in the final seconds for Sky before a crucial And-1 play from Kailahi-Fulu sent the game into extra time.
Mareta Davidson scored 9 points for Storm in the additional period but back-to-back threes from Anna Lacey in the final 90 seconds proved the difference in the end.
Storm 86 – Theyers 15, Shearer 13, Davidson 12, Nathan 12, Elgar 12
Suns 90 – J Kailahi-Fulu 24, Roberts 17, Lacey 14, T Jenkins 12, A Jenkins 10