Written by Mike Lacey, laceylowdown.com
Round 7 of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam played at Auckland University on Tuesday was most notable for the first defeat of the season for Save Youthtown. They were defeated 100-90 by Breakers Development who boasted a very useful starting five of Shea Ili, playing his first game of the season, Brad Anderson, Jordan Ngatai, Duane Bailey and Reuben Te Rangi. The scores were locked at 49 apiece at half time but with Ana Haku on four fouls and forced to sit out the third period, Youthtown struggled to contain the athletic Breakers line up despite the best efforts of Patrich Bolstad and Dillon Boucher. Te Rangi closed the third quarter, which the Breakers won 27-18, with a couple of free shots but opened the fourth with a resounding dunk as the Breakers took charge of proceedings. Ngatai and Yuat Alok joined in the dunkathon as the Breakers recorded their third straight win.
Final score: Breakers Development 100 - Te Rangi 28, Ili 19, Anderson 17, Ngatai 14, Save Youthtown 90 Bolstad 29, Haku 18, Anthony Jones 12, Ben Fraser 9
The Birdmen were quickest out of the gate in the second game establishing a 31-27 lead at quarter time against MaiFM 88 Sixers. Both teams scored on their first 6 possessions and remarkably all five starters for the Birdmen had scored from behind the three point arc in the opening five minutes – Casey Frank, Karl Noyer, Josh Bloxham, Marco Alexander and Kane Keil all enjoying triple success. Unfortunately that was about as good as it got for the Birdmen. They missed the inside presence of Johnny Fesolai, Casey Frank fighting a lone battle inside against Nick Barrow, Robson Tavita and Morgan Natanahira. To add to that the Sixers guards shot the ball more consistently from the perimeter, easing to a 44-38 half time lead and dominating the second half 56-42. The Sixers enjoyed the luxury of having player-coach Hayden Allen sit himself down for the whole of the final period, probably saving himself for the first Supercity Rangers training run the following night. Tyler Kerlin won the battle of the sponsors, the Mexicali Freshman and Sixers guard getting the better of brother and fellow owner Connor a member of the Birdmen.
Final score: MaiFM 88 Sixers 100 – Natanahira 24, Allen 19, Matt Lacey 16, Tyler Kerlin 14, Barrow 10 The Birdmen 80 – Noyer 19, Alexander 18, Keil 12, Bloxham 10, Frank 10
Standings; Save Youthtown 6-1 Breakers Development 4-3 MaiFM 88 Sixers 3-4 Birdmen 1-6