Pouakai take flight against Hoiho

IN a battle of the bottom two sides in the five-team Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa competition, it was Mainland Pouakai who were able to pull away with a 12-point win over Southern Hoiho. The clash took place at the Queenstown Events Centre and effectively locked in the top four sides for the finals series with the Pouakai joining the two other mid-table teams of Mid-North Whai and Tokomanawa Queens on four wins. Though the 1-7 Hoiho put up a fight early to lead at quarter time, that had evaporated by the main break, and the visitors went on with it to record a 70-58 victory.

SOUTHERN HOIHO 13 | 13 | 16 | 16 (58)
MAINLAND POUAKAI 9 | 21 | 23 | 17 (70)

Coming into the match, the Mainland Pouakai needed a win to shut the door on the Southern Hoiho potentially catching up and taking fourth spot on them. The Hoiho only had the one win from eight games coming into the Monday night clash at Queenstown Events Centre, while the Pouakai 2022 season record sat at 3-5 and delicately poised as the competition turned for home in the final straight. Still, the Hoiho were fast out of the blocks putting up 13 points to nine in what was a see-sawing first term to take a four-point lead into quarter time.

That advantage – which extended out to five points early in the second term – slowly evaporated as the Pouakai worked their way into the game. The second term looked to be going the way of the visitors before the Hoiho hit hte ront again – albeit by the smallest of margins, only for the Pouakai to put the foot down in the dying stage, win the term 21-13 and come away with the four-point lead at half-time. That momentum continued into the third quarter as the Pouakai went about building their lead. It gradually extended until it hit double-figures courtesy of a 23-16 term, before holding on around that double-digit mark in the four term and eventually winning 70-58.

The stats were fairly even across the board, with the Hoiho having less turnovers (10-15), which kept them in the game by scoring more points from turnovers (17-9), as well as second chance points (10-2) courtesy of their marginal rebound advantage (42-41). The Pouakai lead in the assists (16-13), blocks (4-1) and points in he paint (22-16), and also shot at a higher clip overall, draining 44 per cent of their field gaols compared to the Hoiho’s 30 per cent, which was ultimately the difference in the end.

Tessa Boagni put in a shift of 18 points – seven of 10 from the field including two from two when outside the arc – and 14 points in a massive double-double. Trinity Baptiste (20 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals) lead the scoring for the Pouakai, while Erin Whalen (13 points, five rebounds) and Lauryn Hippolite (14 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals) were also impressive. Laina Snyder was a lone hand for the Hoiho, putting up 25 points, 13 rebounds and three assists, while draining three of six from beyond the arc.

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