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Year 7&8 Pumas SEZ Girls Basketball Champions


The Year 7&8 Pumas, representing our school, came out as the South-Eastern Zone (SEZ) Girls Basketball Champions. Spending nearly a whole day at Tangaroa College for this one-day tournament against tough opponents and with close games.

The team showed their overall skill, chemistry and enthusiasm as they played against schools they have never met before. Placed in the Eastern Year 7&8 C Grade, a grade that included teams consisting of not just girls, but boys too, brought out the best of the girls’ ability as individual players and as a team. The Pumas also train in the Girls Got Game programme, which takes place at our school. They were ready for this tournament, challenging school teams from around South-East Auckland.

The first half of the day’s tournament was pool games. Teams placed amongst two pools played games lasting 15 minutes, fighting for the top two spots to move on. Sancta Maria was placed in Pool 2, consisting of Farm Cove, Sir Edmund Hillary and Buckland’s Beach Intermediate.

Their first game was against Farm Cove. Easily beating them with a final score of 10-2, they moved on to play Sir Edmund Hillary, an aggressive team that proved to be a challenge. One minute, Sancta would lead, then next minute, Sir Edmund Hillary created a comeback. Staying strong, Sancta came out on top with a score of 14-13. To finish the pool matches, Sancta faced off with BBI. Like Farm Cove, Sancta beat BBI 10-2. They were moving on to the semi-finals!

The second half of the tournament consisted of the playoffs. The top two teams from each pool played in a knockout phase of games played over two 10-minute halves. This would determine who comes out as 4th all the way to 1st place. The eventual winners will represent South-East Auckland at the Interzone Basketball Championships. From Pool 1 came Redoubt and Howick and from Pool 2, Sancta Maria and BBI.

The Pumas, 1st in Pool 2, were drawn against Howick Intermediate, 2nd in Pool 1. Howick proved to be a challenging and competitive opponent as many fouls were called between both teams for pushing, shoving and slapping for the ball. After an intense game, Sancta were moving on to the grand final, winning 11-9.

In the other semi-final match, BBI had beaten Redoubt to move into the final, and the Pumas were to face BBI once more.

BBI showing an improvement from the first encounter with Sancta and did not give up nor give in. But the SMC Pumas came out on top with a final score of 11-5. Sancta Maria were crowned the SEZ Girls Basketball Champions!

Sancta Maria will represent South-East Auckland in the Interzone Basketball Championships, where schools from around Greater Auckland will play for the overall top spot.

We would like to especially thank the coaches, Jenny Matano and Ethan Siao, and the manager, Lorian King, for preparing and managing this talented team. Next up, Interzone Championships!

Ethan Siao