Unbeaten Kahu win top two clash over Whai

IT was billed as a potential grand final preview, and the top two sides on the ladder that sat at 3-0 and 2-1 – Northern Kahu and Whai – certainly made it so, with the former coming away 12-point winners in the Tauihi Basketball Aoeteroa. Closing out Round 2 of action, the Kahu kept their perfect record alive, winning their fourth game and moving four points clear of not only the Whai, but Tokomanawa Queens and Mainland Pouakai as well. Though the Whai lead throughout the first half, the Kahu hit back when it counted with a dominant third term setting up the 79-67 victory at Eventfinda Stadium.

KAHU 14 | 21 | 20 | 24 (79)
WHAI 16 | 23 | 9 | 19 (67)

The Whai were looking to hand Kahu their first defeat of the season, and started strongly as they looked good in a predicted close game. They lead by as much as five points in the first term, before the Kahu hit back to reduce it to three at quarter time. They picked up the slack again in the second quarter to extend it out to double-digits late in the half, with another Kahu charge seeing the home team reduce it back to a manageable four points at the main break.

That momentum Kahu had built just before the half-time buzzer continued into the third quarter, as they began to play the game on their terms. Unbeaten from three previous encounters, the Kahu were getting into the defenders space and forcing fouls to go to the charity stripe and making the most of it, whilst the visitors were defending a lot of chances. But the Kahu kept firm, holding a seven-point lead at the lat chance, ad coming out trading blows with the Whai right until late in the match when they finally broke away to win by 12 points, 79-67.

Northern Kahu had 35 free throw attempts, shooting 29, well ahead of the Whai’s 17 from 22. They also won the rebound count by two (41-39), the steals by three (8-5) and had five less turnovers (10-5) leading to more points from turnovers (14-7). The Whai were far more efficient from inside the arc (47 to 37 per cent), but were let down from beyond it (21 to 35 per cent), wasting some long-range chances. They did have more points in the paint though (28-26) and more blocks (6-2).

Micaela Cocks starred for the Kahu with 29 points, six rebounds and two assists, teaming up well once again on the scoring front with Tahlia Tupaea (18 points, two rebounds and two assists). Krystal Leger-Walker also chipped in with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals to go with her seven points. For the Whai, Kyra Lambert had another big game thanks to 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a full 40-minute domination, while Sheniqua Greene helped herself to 15 points, 10 rebounds and two steals to also collect a double-double. Sharne Robati managed 13 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Northern Kahu next play tomorrow up against Southern Hoiho, while the Whai take on Mainland Pouakai on Sunday.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments