A DOMINANT first half performance from Tokomanawa Queens has resulted in the Queens getting up over Southern Hoiho by 15 points and moving into outright second on the ladder with the victory. Coming into the clash with a 4-4 record, the Queens needed a victory to keep on top of their nearest rivals, and they did just that. Storming out of the blocks to slam home 56 points to 30, the game was as good as done at half-time, though to the Hoiho’s credit, they fought back to make a game of it and only go down 89-74.
TOKOMANAWA QUEENS 25 | 31 | 24 | 9 (89)
SOUTHERN HOIHO 16 | 14 | 26 | 18 (74)
Tokomanawa Queens came into the Wednesday night clash with the last placed Southern Hoiho as hot favourites having handed the Hoiho a 19-point defeat just a couple of weeks ago. Though the Hoiho had won against the Whai the very next match, they had suffered back-to-back losses over the past week. The Queens on the other hand wanted to fix their yo-yo form, having dropped games to the Mainland Pouakai and Whai either side of the Hoiho win, but had bounced back to knock off the Pouakai last weekend.
Despite the Queens wanting to get off to a good start, the Hoiho did well to take a lead once the scoring got going, but it would only be temporary. Despite some ebbs and flows within the first 10 minutes, the Queens took a nine-point lead into quarter time. It only great from there as they slammed home 31 points to 14 in the second half, shooting at a remarkable clip from inside the arc, and dominating both points in the paint and from turnovers. The turnovers were proving costly for the Hoiho, but they worked their way back into the game slowly but surely.
It got worse before it got better for the Hoiho, with the Queens blowing the deficit out to as much as a 38 point lead with 5:24 left in the match. From that point on though, the Hoiho outscored the Queens, restricting the home side to a remarkable 14 points over the next 15 minutes – after conceding 75 in the first 25 minutes – and scoring 36 themselves. They won the third quarter by two points in the end then doubled the Queens’ score marking it a respectable final margin of 15 points. It was a case of too little, too late for the Hoiho who blew any chance of victory with that poor start.
Able to manage time on the court, the Queens had plenty of contributors, headlined by Stella Beck who put up 20 points – nine of 10 from the field – 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals. She was one of five players – all the starters – to hit double-figure points. Jamie Nared (14 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists) was dominant off the boards, while Elin Gustavsson (12 points, six rebounds and five assists), Josephine Trousdell (10 points, two rebounds) and Florencia Chagas (15 points, two rebounds, three steals and two assists).
On the other hand, the Hoiho had just two key scorers, being their dominant player of the season, Laina Snyder, and backcourt player Samara Gallaher. Snyder slammed home seven triples from 12 attempts on her way to 31 points – 11 of 19 from the field – five rebounds and three assists, while Gallaher managed 15 points, three rebounds and two steals in the loss.
Tokomanawa Queens next take to the court on Saturday evening to face top of the table Northern Kahu, while Southern Hoiho hosts Mainland Pouakai on Sunday afternoon.