Queens rule over winless Hoiho

TOKOMANAWA Queens have stormed away from an early Southern Hoiho resistance to move to equal second on the Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa ladder. The Queens and Hoiho were at 17 points apiece at quarter time, before the home team broke the game open with 47 points to 24 over the next two quarters to run away with a 17-point victory. The 87-60 result at TSB Arena saw the Queens move to two wins from three games to start the season, while the Hoiho are yet to win from four matches.

TOKOMANAWA QUEENS 17 | 25 | 22 | 23 (87)
SOUTHERN HOIHO 17 | 15 | 9 | 19 (60)

Tokomanawa Queens came into the game determined to grab another victory and sentence Southern Hoiho to a fourth straight loss in their Round 2 clash, but it was far from easy going early. Both teams shared the lead throughout the opening term, with the Queens looking good late on with a six-point buffer, before the Hoiho built some momentum. They drew level at 17 points apiece, then kicked ahead early in the second term and held a lead throughout the first half of the term.

Just as it looked like the Hoiho could come up with an answer to each Queens basket, the home team stepped up in a big way. When Olivia O’Neill scored with 6:08 on the clock, it put the Hoiho up by two. From that point on, the Queens scored 18 of the next 24 points to take a 10-point lead into half-time, lead by the likes of Elin Gustavsson, Jaime Nared and Florencia Chagas. That dominance continued into the third term with a 22-9 quarter, making it 40 of the last 55 points to race out to a 23-point buffer at three-quarter time.

Not determined to let that advantage slip, the Queens managed to weather an early fourth quarter resistance from the Hoiho, to outscore the visitors 23-19 in the final term and come away with the 87-60 win. They dominated all the key areas, shooting at a higher clip from the field (44 to 38 per cent) and had more assists (16-11), steals (17-4) and blocks (5-1), with the turnover count particularly significant. The Hoiho committed 26 turnovers to eight, which allowed the Queens to score 31 points to six from turnovers in what was ultimately the difference in the game.

Gustavsson picked up a double-double in the win, collecting 15 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Also contributing strongly on the scoreboard for the Queens, Nared (19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals), Chagas (14 points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals) and Stella Beck (17 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals). Laina Snyder was the best of the Hoiho players, recording 19 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, while Shelby Cheslek had 11 points and seven boards.

Tokomanawa Queens take on Mainland Pouakai tomorrow night, while Southern Hoiho battle with Northern Kāhu on July 15.

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