Round 6 Rapid Wrap

Photo credit: Stepney Sports

Welcome to the Rapid Wrap for round 6 where Mike Lacey takes you through all you need to know about the Sky Broadband Rapid League

Napier RSA Hawks 32 Tauranga Whai 27

The Hawks lost the season opener in Tauranga but have made it 5 wins on the bounce since, after avenging their lone blemish on the season by defeating the Tauranga Whai 32-27 in Napier on Wednesday night.

The Hawks were paced by a season high 11-point outing from Tanae Lavery while Kobe Kara and Jacob Murphy chipped in with 8 points each.

On a night when the Whai were a dim 2 from 12 (16%) from inside the arc Te Tuhi Lewis was a shining light with 13 points, mostly from deep.

Points were hard to come by in the opening quarter – a brace of threes each from Murphy and Lewis had the score locked at six apiece.

Lewis and Denhym Brooke added a triple apiece but Lavery and Kara put the Hawks in the ascendancy at 16-12 come half-time.

The Hawks made their move in the third stretching out to a 22-14 advantage before further points, either side three-quarter time, from Tommy Fergusson moved the hosts lead into double figures.

A Jayden Boucher one-hander from 25-feet was worthy of a highlight reel but it was the overall performance of the Hawks that really caught the eye.

BBQ’s Direct Canterbury Rams 26 Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets 34

The two teams met in Dunedin last week when the Canterbury Rams prevailed 31-28 but the result was reversed in Christchurch on Thursday night with the Nuggets recording a 34-26 road win.

Former Junior Tall Black Josh Aitcheson was the star of the show making all four of his three-point attempts on his way to a season high 14 points.

Two of those triples came in the opening spell, one in which Taki Fahrensohn (9 points) also scored six points with the Rams shading the first half 14-13.

The third period was just as tight before a basket on the cusp of the last break from Matt Bardsley (7 points) gave the Nuggets a 23-21 advantage.

From there the visitors dominated the final frame - at one point 13 points ahead - as Darcy Knox, Bardsley and that man Aitcheson drained a triple apiece – a third win of the season for the Nugs the outcome.

Southland Sharks 28 NBS Nelson Giants 50

Top of the table Nelson Giants engineered a commanding 50-28 victory against the Southland Sharks in Invercargill on Friday night, winning all four quarters in the process.

Playing with just the five players Connor Coll (14 points) and Riley Snow (6 points and 6 rebounds) gave the Sharks an early lead but that was quickly erased by Tom Ingham and Hayden Jones (12 points) as the Giants eased to a 15-8 quarter time lead.

The Giants opened the second with nine unanswered points and although Quake Webster landed a deep three the visitors were in the box seat with a 29-14 half-time lead.

Sam Dempster scored all his 9 points in the third quarter – three successes from beyond the arc – as the Giants lead steadily increased.

After the Rams ran up 52 points last week the Giants became the second team to hit the half century mark. Nick Davidson, recovered from injury, joined Jones on 12 points while Aston Inwood had a measured 7 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Taranaki Steeelformers Airs 40 Franklin Bulls 42

The Franklin Bulls recorded a second road win in as many rounds with at 42-40 victory against the Taranaki Airs in New Plymouth on Saturday afternoon.

Last week it was Isaac Davidson that made the winning shot against the Tuatara and it was Harri Coker-Grey the hero for the Bulls in this one. Trailing 40-39 the former Mt Albert Grammar standout received a pin-point pass from Dom Kelman-Poto before sinking a corner-three to snatch a third victory of the season for the Pukekohe based club.

In early exchanges Dru Leusogi-Ape (9 points) and Isaac Davidson (10 points) shared all the Bulls points as they edged to a 10-9 advantage.

Nico Hill (13 points) scored 7 second quarter points although a brace of freebies from Christian Vano, as the first half came to an end, tied the scores at 22 points apiece.

Nine unanswered points, 6 of them from Tobias Cameron, during the middle stages of the third took the Airs out to a 35-30 lead with four minutes to play. Hill put the hosts three ahead with 40 seconds to play but it wasn’t enough as first Leusogi-Ape and then Coker-Grey fashioned another exciting away win for the Bulls.

Auckland Tuatara 25 Napier RSA Hawks 45

The Tuatara welcomed back Charlie Dalton, after his freshman year at Concordia University Irvine, but he and his teammates were run over in the second half by a well-oiled Hawks unit that won the contest 35-23.

Jacob Murphy scored 7 first half points for the Hawks but 6 from Nick Barrow kept the Tuatara in touch – down 17-14 at the interval.

From there the Hawks demonstrated why they are a top-two side with an exhibition of slick, cohesive team play outgunning the home side 28-11 in the second half.

Murphy finished with 12 points to go with 4 rebounds and 3 steals while Tommy Ferguson tallied 11 and both Kobe Kara and Jackson Ball totalled 8 points for the 6-1 Hawks. Reuben Fitzgerald led the Tuatara scoring with 7 points.   

Night 'n Day Otago Nuggets 38 NBS Nelson Giants 41

NBS Nelson Giants remain at the top of the Rapid League ladder after a hard fought 41-38 win against the Otago Nuggets at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin on Sunday afternoon.

A close game throughout began with Josh Aitcheson (15 points) continuing his good scoring form with a couple of first quarter buckets. However 5 points each from Tom Ingham (11 points) and Nick Davidson (9 points) had the Giants ahead 14-13.

It was all tied up at half-time at 18-all before the Giants garnered some momentum in the third – triples from Ingham and Hayden Jones (12 points and 5 rebounds) propelled the visitors to a 30-26 advantage.

After a pull-up three from Davidson gave the Giants a 37-33 lead, Otago responded through Darcy Knox (10 points) and Matt Bardsley (10 points).

The Giants kept their noses in front courtesy of freebies from Ingham and Jones to make it an impressive six wins from seven outings for coach Tom Gargiulo and his charges.

Property Brokers Manawatu Jets 35  Mills Albert Wellington Saints 40

The Manawatu Jets are still searching for their first win of the Rapid season after going down 40-35 to Wellington Saints in Palmerston North on Sunday evening.

Taane Samuel, re-signed this week after a season playing in Japan, started for the Saints and scored with his first touch before going on to register a game high 13 points.

The Jets led early on after a couple of buckets from their leading scorer Lachie Crate but were pegged back in the second period following consecutive threes from Rangimarie Dougall-Mita (9 points).

Trailing 20-19 at the half Jackson Stent (6 points) and Crate (12 points) propelled the Jets into the lead. However that was a prelude to a 13-4 scoring run from the Saints either side of three-quarter time with Samuel and Kazlo Evans Jr (7 points and 3 assists) the major contributors.

That run grounded the Jets challenge – they now have to regroup before travelling to Auckland to face the Tuatara with the Saints having a full week to prepare for a visit from the high flying Giants.

Rapid Express

Josh Aitcheson topped the single game scoring in Round 6, scoring 15 points against the Nelson Giants. In fact he had the two highest scores with the Otago Nuggets wing making 14 points against the Rams. Those performances fired the former Junior Tall Black into the Top-10 Rapid League scorers and MVP voting lists.

Rapid Fire

Fielding High School guard Lachie Crate has been joined by Hawks forward Tommy Fergusson at the head of the list of overall points scorer this season. Twelve players have scored over 50 points over the first six rounds of the inaugural Rapid League season – full list below.

Top 12 MVP vote gatherers after Round 6:

58 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

38 Hayden Jones (Giants)

35 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

35 Lachie Crate (Jets)

34 Connor Coll (Sharks)

34 Reuben Fitzgerald (Tuatara)

33 Kazlo Evans Jr (Saints)

32 Josh Aitcheson (Nuggets)

31 Ben Hall (Sharks)

31 Nick Davidson (Giants)

31 Kaia Isaac (Rams)

31 Matt Bardsley (Nuggets)

Top scorers (50pts+):

76 Lachie Crate (Jets)

76 Tommy Fergusson (Hawks)

69 Connor Coll (Sharks)

69 Nico Hill (Airs)

67 Te Tuhi Lewis (Whai)

64 Hayden Jones (Giants)

60 Dru Leusogi-Ape (Bulls)

60 Tyson Thata (Saints)

58 Kobe Kara (Hawks)

57 Josh Leger (Tuatara)

52 Josh Aitcheson (Nuggets)

51 Ben Hall (Sharks)

Sky Broadband Rapid League Standings after Round 6

7-1 Nelson Giants

6-1 Hawkes Bay Hawks

5-4 Auckland Tuatara

4-3 Canterbury Rams, Taranaki Airs, Wellington Saints

3-4 Tauranga Whai, Franklin Bulls, Otago Nuggets

2-6 Southland Sharks

0-8 Manawatu Jets


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