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Interzone Basketball Championships 2019


Last week the Year 7 & 8 Boys (Spartans) and Girls (Pumas) took part in the Interzone Basketball Championships at Eventfinda Stadium representing the South-Eastern Zone (SEZ) after both teams won their respective SEZ Basketball Tournaments.

Getting to Eventfinda Stadium meant going through the city and due to early traffic, both teams had meet up at school at 7:30 am to leave early and arrive on time. On this day, the teams had a chance to take a glimpse of smoke and maybe even fire and water rising from the city from the ongoing fire that set the Convention Centre ablaze.

We arrived at the venue with plenty of time to spare and the place was packed with lots of players from schools representing their respective zones. There are 9 different zones across the Greater Auckland region: Central, Counties, Eastern, Franklin, Harbour, North-West, South-East, South-West, and Waitakere.

Pumas (Girls) Pool Games

The Pumas, being undefeated in the SEZ Tournament were put in Pool B, alongside Haupai District School, Koru School, and Kelston Intermediate.

To kick-off this long day, the girls played Huapai District School. The Pumas won against Huapai, a great start to the day. Straight after, the Pumas took on Koru School. But their tough defence and tall and fit players ensured that the girls would suffer their first loss of the day.

The girls were scheduled to play Kelston Intermediate for their final game of the pool round-robin. After seeing Kelston beat Koru, the girls gave their all and did their best against them. This hard work and dedication truly paid off as they won against Kelston by just one point. Sancta Maria’s Pumas, along with Koru and Kelston, had gained 8 points with 2 wins and 1 loss each. The question was who was going to the semis?

After collecting scoresheets and tallying statistics, to our delight Sancta Maria was advancing to the semi-finals, placing 2nd in Pool B! The girls were guaranteed 2 more games as a team and an impressive top 4 placing of schools across Auckland.

SPARTANS (Boys) Pool Games

The Spartans, losing only one game in their SEZ Tournament are put in Pool B. With them were Papatoetoe, Glen Innes and Hobsonville.

The Spartan’s first two games of the day against both Papatoetoe and Glen Innes ended up both as two unfortunate losses, losing by as little as just one point. It was certain that the boys were not going on the trip to the semis. However, the Spartans come back in the game against Glen Innes, coming out with their first win of the day.

With 1 win and 2 losses, 3rd place in Pool B wasn’t that bad with these tough matchups. The Spartans moved on to play just one last game against 4th place of Pool A, their last game as a team.

Finals Games

The Pumas were up against Northcross for their semi-final matchup. Northcross who topped Pool A during the pool round-robin played tough and hard on both offence and defence. The girls couldn’t catch up both physically and mentally, resulting in their toughest loss for the day and moving on to the 3rd Place Playoff.

After the girls stepped off the court it was the boys’ turn to play their playoff games. For the Spartans, they were matched against 4th place in Pool A: Remuera. The opposition put up a challenge against the boys, but the Spartans’ outstanding teamwork, and big baskets were what led the boys to an outstanding victory, placing 5th in the tournament.

Finally, after the Spartans and the other boys’ teams played, it was time for both the girls’ and boys’ grand final and 3rd/4th place games. For their last game as a team, the Pumas were matched up against Koru School to determine who gained 3rd place and who finished 4th. After a very close and exciting game, the girls unfortunately fell short in the second half, losing against Koru and earning a final placing of 4th.

This tournament marked the end of the players’ basketball journey this year, but what a journey 2019 has been, especially for the Spartans and Pumas. We would like to thank the teams’ coaches and managers who assisted and helped the teas during 2019.

Ethan Siao