Stratford High School boys win 'A' Basketball Championship
6 Oct 2017
Schick Championships – STRATFORD HIGH SCHOOL WIN ‘A’ BOYS’ GRAND FINAL
The Boys’ Grand Final was a north versus south match up as Canterbury representatives Hillmorton High School took on Taranaki’s Stratford High School.
A fast paced opening period was won 24-19 by Stratford with double digit contributions from Willem Ratu and Cameron Trethewey.
Trethewey was proving a handful on the boards, his put back stretching the Stratford lead to 31-21. Fletcher Jennings stretched the lead further before Ihaia Kendrew and Aleni Paulo converted after some Stratford ill-discipline.
A Morgan Trott tip-in was answered by a Joshua Nickel triple but Stratford was in control at the break with a 41-28 lead.
Trethewey led all scorers with 19 points ably assisted by Ratu’s 17 points. Kendrew kept the Stratford defence busy making a dozen points for Hillmorton.
Latrell Treka opened the second half scoring with a pair of triples and a break away lay up and although Kendrew and Mahonri Tauiliili-Pau punctured the Stratford defence the lead was still twenty points 53-33 in favour of Stratford.
Another three, this time from Ratu, prompted a timeout from Hillmorton coach Marques Whippy with the scoreline 63-43 in favour of Stratford. Hillmorton scored the last six points of the quarter including a three from Aleni Paulo, but still trailed 63-45 with ten minutes to play.
Stratford was dealt a blow early in the fourth when Trethewey fouled out and to compound the problem Hillmorton scored the first eight points of the final quarter to close to 63-53.
Trott finally initiated the scoring for Stratford – they led 67-53 with 5:30 to play – coach Willie Banks deciding a timeout was prudent.
Sakaria Maoluma scored for Hillmorton off a neat inside pass and Tauiliili-Pau from a penetrative drive 68-59 with 3:30 to play.
Trott fouled out and Kendrew nailed a sideline three – 68-62 with 3:15 to play.
Both teams exchanged baskets before Kendrew nailed another three – 70-67 with two minutes to play.
Ratu eased the pressure with free throws (72-67) and a terrific left handed floater before Kendrew yet again landed from beyond the arc.
Whippy strategized in a timeout but his charges trailed 76-70 with 31 seconds to play – Brad Cross made the jump shot after the restart, but Ratu iced the game from the foul line to carry his team to a hard earned 77-72 victory.
Stratford coach Willie Banks paid credit to Hillmorton for the second half comeback they staged.
“Even though we forged a twenty point lead at one stage, I knew they had the ability to make a run and we couldn’t rest on our laurels – we were holding on at the end.
“Willem Ratu was justifiably named MVP, and along with Morgan Trott and Cameron Trethewey were the backbone of our team. I’m blessed to have shared the journey to the championship title with them,” said Banks.
• Stratford 77 – Ratu 32, Teka 13, Trethewey 11, Trott 10
• Hillmorton 72 – Kendrew 30, Nickel 13, Tauiliili-Pau 12, Sakaria 10
- BBNZ -