AS finals approach, Mainland Pouakai picked up a 13-goal victory over the struggling Southern Hoiho to move to outright third on the Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa ladder. Nearly all of the Pouakai’s work was done in the opening 10 minutes at the Edgar Centre, piling on 26 points to 12 in a dominant Sunday afternoon clash. Though the Hoiho actually outscored the Pouakai across the last three quarters, it would not be enough as the visitors secured the 74-61 win.
SOUTHERN HOIHO 12 | 14 | 15 | 20 (61)
MAINLAND POUAKAI 26 | 14 | 18 | 16 (74)
Mainland Pouakai hit the road to take on the last placed Southern Hoiho in a must-win contest at the Edgar Centre. With the post-season series fast approaching, the Pouakai stepped up early and did what they needed to do to set up the win. Trinity Baptiste was phenomenal in the opening 10 minutes, scoring eight points and pulling down six rebounds – four defensive – as well as two assists, one block and one steal. Lauryn Hippolite (six points was also busy for the Pouakai), while Laina Snyder and Nicole Ruske lead the Hoiho charge with four points apiece.
There was a scoring drought in the first four minutes of the second term, with the Hoiho adding four more points, and the Pouakai an additional three, before Shelby Cheslek and Zoe Richards cut the deficit back to eight points midway through the term. Baptiste and then Erin Whalen steadied for the visitors – with back-to-back triples – to put the margin back out to 16 points. Another late three-pointer to Whalen – making it nine of her team’s 14 points for the quarter, made it a 26-40 scoreline at the half.
The third term went marginally to the Pouakai as Jailin Cherry and Tessa Boagni stepped up early, and the lead skipped out to a game-high 19 points with 4:46 on the clock. Snyder and Ruske produced long-range makes to cut it back to 13, though the Pouakai again stood up late and ensured their lead had extended to 17, 58-41. Despite closing the gap to single digits in the last quarter, the Hoiho could never quite get close enough to do serious damage to the Pouakai’s lead, and though they technically won the last three quarters by a goal, the 14-goal deficit at quarter time proved too much and the Pouakai won, 74-61.
Whalen lead all-comers for the Pouakai with 22 points – six of 11 from range – six rebounds and four assists, while Boagni (15 points, 15 rebounds and three assists) and Baptiste (18 points, 12 rebounds and three assists) both amassed enormous double-doubles. Cherry chipped in with a handy nine points, three rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes. For the Hoiho, Cheslek shared the game-high score of 22 points, as well as pulling in nine rebounds and four assists. Snyder (13 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks) was the other key scorer in the loss.
Heading into the final round after a weekend off, the Mainland Pouakai have clashes against Mid-North Whai and Northern Kahu on Friday, August 19 and Sunday, August 21 respectively, while Southern Hoiho closes out its season against the Whai on that same Sunday.