Written by Mike Lacey - Courtesy of laceylowdown.com
Round three of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam saw wins for Railsplitters and 68A Nelson Street in the Men’s competition. Storm and Suns prevailed in the Women’s competition.
A fourty point’s second quarter barrage from Railsplitters did the damage against the Breakers Development. The feast of points, served up mainly by Jaylen Gerrand and James Hunter, carried Railsplitters to a commanding 72-44 lead at the interval.
To their credit the young Breakers team, staring down the barrel of a drubbing, responded well in the third quarter as Zack Te Puni and Caleb Langridge spearheaded a strong response. Breakers won the third period 29-18 and continued the good work in the fourth.
Five Breakers players, led by Thabo Manyere’s 19 points, scored in double figures as pride was restored in the second half.
Earlier Daniel Green (4/5 3PG) and Hayden Allen had got Railsplitters off to a fast start, a prelude to a dominant second in which the Breakers transition defence was sadly lacking. An alternative viewpoint was that Hunter and Gerrand were simply unstoppable.
Railsplitters 117 – Hunter 29, Gerrand 25, Green 16, Allen 15, Fesolia 14 Aruwa 11
Breakers Development 107 – Manyere 19, Perrott-Hunt 17, Dance 16, Langridge 14, Te Puni 13
In the second game 68A Nelson Street inflicted a first loss of the season on the Birdmen with a 113-89 victory. The win was achieved on the back of a 31 points scoring effort from Derone Raukawa who shot the ball at a tidy clip – 15 from 21 (71%). Brooke Ruscoe and Ana Haku ably supported him with 20 points and 21 points respectively.
Nick Barrow was the best for the Birdmen, the power forward flirting with a double -double as he finished with 26 points and 9 rebounds.
Birdmen actually led through the opening skirmishes, ahead 24-22 at quarter time before Nelson St eased ahead 51-48 at half-time.
Nelson St made the decisive break at the back end of the third frame extending a ten-point lead (65-55) to a more comfortable 81-67 three-quarter time lead.
Birdmen 89 – Barrow 26, Kelman-Poto 15, Colla 13, Lucas 10, Friday 10
68A Nelson St 113 – Raukawa 31, Haku 21, Ruscoe 20, Boucher 16, Seumanu 13
In a game of significant swings Storm, with major contributions from Deena Franklin (25pts) and Shauna Povey (22pts), proved too good for Sky winning 95-74.
The pair, with help from Sarah Scoular, propelled Storm to a 14-3 lead before Ashleigh Kelman-Poto, Amanda Buck and Riana Rangi-Brown hit back to narrow to 22-17 at the first break.
A couple of triples from Povey countered Rangi-Browns’ efforts to keep Storm ahead 43-40 at half time.
Storm, as they had in the first half, opened the second with a strong run to stretch out to 57-41 before Summer-Jean Motufoua brightened the outlook for Sky. When Hannah Wentworth knocked down an open look the lead had been trimmed to single figures (62-53).
However a 12-2 rumble by Storm with Stevee Theyers and Millie Nathan contributing took the game away from Sky – 73-55 at three-quarter time.
The spoils were shared in the last period with the Storm lead unchallenged.
Sky 74 –Rangi-Brown 23, Kelman-Poto 18, Motufoua 13, Te-Huia 8, Buck 6
Storm 95 – Franklin 25, Povey 22, Scoular 10, Berry 8, Shearer 6
A combined 54 points from guard Luye Murphy and forward Tabitha Jenkins defused the Sparks and took Suns to a second consecutive win.
Murphy landed the first of her four triples in the opening spell as Suns led 21-17 after the first period and 39-33 at half-time despite 15 first half points from Sharne Pupuke-Robati.
Murphy scored 8 points in the third but half a dozen from Sophie Dil kept Sparks alive – down 57-48 with ten minutes to play.
Alyesha Schuster and Mareta Davidson landed a couple of shots apiece for Sparks but Jenkins and Murphy ensured the Suns finished brightly.
Sparks 61 – Pupuke-Robati 21, Davidson 10, Dil 9, Schuster 8
Suns 77 –Murphy 28, A Jenkins 26, Roberts 9