Rapid Wrap – Round 12

Photo credit: Blake Armstrong

A Rapid League best 25 points from Matthew Bardsley for Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets was the individual performance of Round 12 of the Sky Broadband Rapid League.

Bardsley had quite a night against the Taranaki Airs tallying 39 points in total as he also scored 14 points in the Sal’s NBL fixture that followed his Rapid rampage.

NBS Nelson Giants still head the league table with Mills Albert Pathways Wellington Saints in second spot.

However the game of the Round was at Cowles Stadium where BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams beat Property Brokers Manawatu Jets in a game of extreme momentum swings. Mike Lacey takes you through that roller coaster ride and all the other excitement in the Round 12 Rapid Wrap. 

Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets 40 Taranaki Steeelformers Airs 27

The Taranaki Steeelformers Airs run of victories came to an end at five after they went down 40-27 at Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets in Dunedin on Wednesday night.

Tobias Cameron, fresh off his 21-point outing in Round 11, put the first points on the board but his Rapid League ‘world record’ was blown out of the water by Matt Bardsley.

The Dunedin school teacher gave a lesson in finishing as he posted a staggering 25 points in 15 minutes. He scored the first four points for the Nuggets and appropriately put an exclamation mark on the win with a two handed flush to conclude proceedings.

In between the Nuggets opened up an early 9-3 lead which became 20-14 at half-time and grew steadily in the second half.

Cameron top scored for the Nuggets with 9 points and Zavier Adam tallied 7. The next best score for the Nuggets after Bardsley’s barrage was four points but that was of little consequence to the blue and gold as they grabbed win number nine!

NBS Nelson Giants 42 BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams 38 

On the night the Giants celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the 1994 NBL championship title their Rapid League team consolidated top spot on the league table with a 42-28 victory over BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams at the Trafalgar Centre on Thursday night.

The teenage back court duo of Nick Davidson (15 points) and Hayden Jones (13 points) led the way for the Giants while skipper Kaia Isaac scored 10 points for the Rams.

Isaac’s 7 points helped the Rams to a 12-7 first quarter lead. A brace of Aiden Tonge buckets kept the Rams in the ascendancy before Davidson scored 6 points in the closing 80 seconds of the first half to give the hosts a 20-19 lead.

A triple, late in the third period, maintained the one point advantage for the Giants (30-29).

Three-point plays from Davidson and Jones stretched the lead to 40-32 with 90 seconds to play and although Mac Stodart and Taki Fahrensohn nailed triples the Giants, courtesy of a brace of free-throws from Sam Dempster, closed out win number 12.  

Southland Sharks v Taranaki Steeelformers Airs 

In a  proverbial game of two halves Taranaki Steeelformers Airs came from behind to complete a 40-35 win against Southland Sharks in Invercargill on Saturday night.

After scoring the first 7 points of the game the Sharks led 10-5 at quarter time and extended their lead to 24-16 at half-time with Matariki Kapea, on his way to a season high 13 points, having 9 and Scott Telfer 6 points at the interval.

Kapea added to his tally to open the second half scoring before the tied began to turn in the Airs favour 

Cameron Quinnell, off the back of his freshman season at Rocky Mountain College, made a couple of timely scores and with Derone Raukawa adding back to back triples the Airs were 28-26 ahead.

Ben Hall then restored the Sharks advantage but it was of the slimmest of margins at 29-28 with a quarter to play.

A Quinnell triple snuffed that out as did scores from Quintin Bailey and Tobias Cameron. 

Coll and Telfer dragged it back to a one possession game but Cameron (11 points) and then Raukawa (14 points) held the Sharks at bay.

BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams 42 Property Brokers Manawatu Jets 41 

Playing with just five players BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams beat Property Brokers Manawatu Jets 42-41 in a thriller at Cowles Stadium where Taki Fahrensohn sealed an unlikely victory with just 0.6 seconds left on the clock.

After being 35-26 ahead at three-quarter time the Rams gave up 13 straight points to trail 39-35 with under a minute to play. Some extended pressure paid dividends with Takki Fahrensohn and Mac Stodart making scores to tie proceedings.

However when Josh Tutagalevao (10 points) made a couple of free-throws to give the Jets a 2-point lead with just 5 seconds left on the clock all looked lost for the Cantabrians. However on the resulting possession the Jets inexplicably fouled Fahrensohn as he attempted a 3-point shot allowing the former Tall Black to coolly make all three freebies to ice the game. 

Earlier the Jets dealt almost exclusively in three-pointers, courtesy of Tutagalevao, Campbell Scott and Jonty Kells (who made 4 in the game on his way to a season high 17 points) in carving out a 24-22 half-time lead. 

Mac Stodart (15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks) and Tama Isaac (10 points and 4 assists) were then key in giving the Rams that 9 point three-quarter time lead.

From there, in one of the most exciting finishes of the season, the result was flipped on its head twice and it’s likely that the Jets are still wondering how they managed to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

Napier RSA Hawks 22 NBS Nelson Giants 29 

NBS Nelson Giants won a low scoring tussle with Napier RSA Hawks 29-22 at Rodney Green Arenas on Saturday night. 

The Hawks injury curse has struck again with guard Tanae Lavery (foot fracture) following Tommy Fergusson and Balin Casson on the unavailable list – all three have suffered season ending injuries.

Drafting in debutants Kahu Treacher and Denim Tuala-Fata it wasn’t a huge surprise that the Hawks lacked cohesion early on giving up the first 9 points of the game.

Both debutants made a basket in the first half but 5 points apiece from Ernest Kerr and Nick Davidson gave the Giants a 16-10 half-time lead.

A transition dunk from Jacob Murphy and points from Kobe Kara reduced the deficit, despite a Tom Ingham three, to 23-19 at three-quarter time.

The more experienced Nelson outfit ensured there would be no hiccups in the fourth as they closed out win number 13 to remain at the head of the Rapid ladder. Kerr  led the way for the league leaders with 10 points while Treacher and Kara finished 8 points apiece for the Hawks.

Auckland Tuatara 48 Tauranga Whai 35

Auckland Tuatara rattled up their highest score of the season as they downed Tauranga Whai 48-35 at Eventfinda Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Debutant Akiva McBirney-Griffin scored with his first shot in Whai colours but that was the visitors only success in the opening quarter as the Tuatara established a 10-point lead.

Tukaha Cooper and Charlie Dalton scored 11 and 9 points respectively in the opening half with the Tuatara ahead 24-17 at the mid-point.

Te Tuhi Lewis made his second triple of the game but a pair of scores from Chris McIntosh helped the Tuatara stretch the lead to 36-22 at three-quarter time.

Comfortably protecting their advantage Cooper finished with 11 points and Dalton’s 17 was the highest individual score by a Tuatara player in the Rapid League.

For the Whai, Xanda Marsters and Lewis scored 8 points apiece with McBirney Griffin - playing his first competitive basketball since incurring an injury early in his second season at University of California, Irvine - finished with a dozen points.

Mills Albert Pathways Wellington Saints 43 Franklin Bulls 29

In the final game of the round a dominant first half display laid the platform for the Albert Pathways Wellington Saints to defeat the Franklin Bulls 43-29 at TSB Arena.

Dom Kelman-Poto gave the Bulls the lead from the opening tip but from thereafter the opening half was all about the Saints perimeter shooting as they made no fewer than seven threes. Two each went the way of Dion Prester, Kazlo Evans Jr and Rangimarie Dougall-Mita while Tyson Thata chimed in with another.

Evans Jr (12 points) and Prewster continued the three-point barrage after the main break although Christian Vano and Dru Leusogi-Ape (11 points) countered with And-1 plays for the visitors.

Ahead 35-23 at three-quarter time the Saints comfortably negotiated the final quarter, the only disappointment being that they made just one more triple, that from Sam Gold!

Still, a return of 10 from 20 at 50% was a decent night’s work.

Shout-out to Cory Lovell who, on debut, was the only Saints player not to score but garnered a massive 9 rebounds.

Rapid Regulars

We still have 10 players that have played every game of the season for their respective teams:

Nick Barrow (Tuatara), Halasiale Maile (Bulls), Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai), Nico Hill (Airs), Kobe Kara (Hawks), Lukah Richards and Jackson Stent (Jets), Kazlo Evans Jr and Tyson Thata (Saints), Robbie Coman (Nuggets).

Rapid Fire

The Rapid League best individual points record haul of 21 points was set by Airs guard Tobias Cameron in the last round. However that mark lasted just 4 days as Otago Nuggets wing Matt Bardsley made a stunning 25 points to set the new all time Rapid Record against Cameron and the Airs in the opening game of Round 12.

Rapid tons

Fifteen players have now scored 100 points this season with Matt Bardsley (Nuggets), Nick Davidson (Giants) and the Saints pairing of Kazlo Evans Jr and Rangimarie Dougall-Mita (Saints) the latest members of the century club.

Kazlo Evans Jr has increased his lead at the top of the MVP standings while Tobias Cameron is the new leader on the points scoring ladder.

Top scorers (100pts+) :

132 Tobias Cameron (Airs)

127 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

125 Dru Leusogi-Ape (Bulls)

123 Kaia Isaac (Rams)

122 Connor Coll (Sharks)

121 Ben Hall (Sharks)

118 Hayden Jones (Giants)

117 Nico Hill (Airs)

111 Josh Aitcheson (Nuggets)

109 Matt Bardsley (Nuggets)

109 Kobe Kara (Hawks)

104 Lachie Crate (Jets)

103 Nick Davidson (Giants)

102 Kazlo Evans Jr (Saints)

100 Rangimarie Dougall-Mita (Saints)

Top MVP vote gatherers:

91 Kazlo Evans Jr (Saints)

76 Kaia Isaac (Rams)

76 Hayden Jones (Giants)

73 Robbie Coman (Nuggets)

67 Connor Coll (Sharks)

65 Josh Aitchison (Nuggets)

64 Nick Davidson (Giants)

63 Ben Hall (Sharks)

63 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

59 Tobias Cameron (Airs)

58 Matt Bardsley (Nuggets)

55 Aston Inwood (Giants)

52 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

52 Dru Leusogi-Ape (Bulls)

50 Rangimarie Dougall-Mita (Saints)

50 Kobe Kara (Hawks)

Sky Broadband Rapid League Standings

13-3 Nelson Giants

11-4 Wellington Saints

10-5 Taranaki Airs

9-6 Otago Nuggets, Canterbury Rams

8-7 Hawkes Bay Hawks

8-8 Auckland Tuatara

5-9 Franklin Bulls

4-11 Tauranga Whai

3-12 Southland Sharks, Manawatu Jets


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