The newly named Mai 88 6ers (sounds superior to Team Allen) faced the Breakers Academy team in the first game of round two of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam on Tuesday night.
The game didn’t rise to any great heights in the first quarter, just 11 points apiece at the first break with Yuat Alok sitting next to Breakers coach Judd Flavell after three early fouls.
Things warmed up in the second period as the 6ers pair Morgan Natanahira and Robson Tavita scored the first 22 points of the game for the radio stars. Natanahira had 15 points by half-time, Matt Freeman 8 points for the Breakers. The play of the half belonged to Glendowie College guard Sam Colenutt who out of nowhere produced an extremely athletic running put back over Nick Barrow. However Barrow and his team were the happiest at the main break, ahead 41-26.
Back to back baskets by Tai Wynyard and a triple from Colenutt started a 10-0 run by the Breakers to open the second half - the 6ers taking almost five minutes to get on the board courtesy of Barrow. Jackson Stent, Brad Anderson and Jordan Ngatai all contributed to the Breakers scoring as the 6ers lead was whittled down to just three points a three quarter time; 57-54.
The final period opened with a Natanahira score off a nice Hayden Miller pass, Anderson replying for the Breakers with a drive through traffic, Miller responding with a three.
Three minutes into the final period Jaylen Gerrand brought the Academy to within two points and it looked as if the youthful Breakers would surge past the understrength 6ers
A shortened 6ers bench became virtually no bench as Hayden Allen had retired after a couple of minutes due to injury and John Harrison limped out of the game in the last quarter.
With four minutes remaining Wynyard reduced the 6ers lead to a single point but then suddenly the Breakers scoring dried up and the 6ers seized their opportunity, Natanahira, Barrow and Tavita scoring back to back to back.
Jordan Ngatai sunk a deep three with 60 seconds remaining for the Breakers but man of the match Morgan Natanahira had the final say scoring under pressure at the offensive end then blocking a Gerrand shot at the defensive end.
Final score: Mai 88 6ers 79 – M Natanahira 22, H Miller 15, N Barrow 12, R Tavita 13 Breakers Development 71- T Wynyard 15, B Anderson 15, M Freeman 10
The Supercity Rangers pairing of Patrich Bolstad and Dillon Boucher made their first appearances in the competition for Save Youthtown as they took on The Birdmen in game two at Auckland University Sports Centre.
It was all square at the first break, The Birdmen just ahead 44-42 at the half-time interval thanks to good work by Karl Noyer, Johnny Fesolai and player-coach Casey Frank, all in double figures after 20 minutes. Derone Raukawa nailed a couple of threes on his way to 10 first half points.
Youthtown eased to a 58-53 three quarter time advantage but were overhauled by the Birdmen who grabbed a two point lead inside the final two minutes. However, they couldn’t hang on as Bolstad and Anamata Haku had the final say to clinch a narrow 72-70 victory for Save Youthtown. A good win for Youthtown as they were without influential point guard Lindsay Tait.
Final Score: Save Youthtown 72- D Raukawa 14, A Haku 12, Anthony Jones 12, Carew Elers 11, D Boucher 10. The Birdmen 70- J Fesolai 20, C. Frank 14, K Noyer 13, Kane Keil 12.
Interesting that the scoresheet had Karl Noyer’s French cousin Karl Noir scoring 13pts in the number 10 shirt – tres beau!
Mike Lacey, laceylowdown.com