Mountain Biking, Basketball, Super Touch
On the 12th of October, 14 students from Years 9 to 13 left for the South Island Secondary Schools MTB Championships.
Friday was practice day, where we could check out the tracks in preparation for racing over the weekend. The day was going great until a huge clap of thunder signalled that the weather was changing. Within minutes it was hosing down. The dirt became mud and rocks and roots became ice.
Saturday was the Downhill and Super D races. It rained intermittently throughout the day, but the racing went on. There were lots of spills and thrills, and tons of action.
Sunday was the Cross Country races. Whilst it was relatively fine, the rain for the previous day had made the ground muddy and slick, with very little traction.
The best overall results for the team were:
- Jordan Sutherland - 8th U16
- Indy Hawthorne - 4th U16
- Drew Starkey - 10th U20
- Kealan Thomson - 9th U20
- Hamish Bennett - 7th U20
The rest of the team all performed to their very best, and did the team, and school proud in the way they competed and interacted with the other 270 students there. A hightlight was when the whole team pushed the van out of the mud whilst it was pouring with rain, and then went straight over to another stuck campervan to try and get them out as well. True Shirley Men indeed.
National Basketball Tournment
On Saturday the 30th September, The Senior A Bball Team (Sean Kelly, Saint Porter, Hamsa Shire, Joel Jeffrey, Josh Thomson, Loyal Patelesio, Wiremu Waaka, Noah Westwood, Tyreice Tuliau, Jayden Watkinson, Mona Faitaua-Nanai, and Amit Aryal) flew out of Christchurch at 7am to Palmerston North (via Wellington) to compete in the AA Schick National Basketball Tournament.
After attending the opening ceremony on Sunday, the boys were itching to play their first Tournament game.
On Monday we had the first game of our pool play against Westlake High. After a slow start getting used to this level of Basketball, captain Sean Kelly carried the team from a 13 point deficit at half time to being tied up at 54 all at the end of the third. After briefly taking the lead at the start of the fourth, Sean unfortunately injured his knee. We lost momentum and couldn’t compete in the last few minutes and eventually went down 76 – 65. Sean Kelly had 22 and Joel Jeffrey had 15.
On Day Two we had two games. In the morning we played a fast paced Rongatai College. After competing well throughout most of the game we ran out of steam and lost 80 – 63. Mona Faitaua-Nanai was our top scorer with 15, and Joel Jeffrey chipped in with 12.
Our afternoon game was against local rival Burnside High. This was always going to be a tough game with both teams not having a win yet. We were in control of this game for three quarters, but unfortunately couldn’t keep pace in the fourth quarter and lost by 6, 75 – 69. Josh Thomson and Joel Jeffrey both had 16, Saint Porter slotted in 13 and a still injured Sean Kelly managed 10.
Some tough losses over the first few days left the boys a little disappointed.
Day Three of the Tournament had us facing Hastings Boys and St Peters Cambridge. After another battle, we suffered another tough loss to Hastings losing by 13. Hamsa Shire top scored with 16, Josh Thomson scored 15, Joel Jeffrey had 12 and Mona Faitaua-Nanai had 11.
In our last pool play we finally managed a win over St Peters Cambridge 94 -73. Joel Jeffrey dominated under the hoop having his best game of the tournament scoring 28 big points. Josh Thomson and Noah Westwood also contributed with 13 and 10 respectively.
Our four loss and one win pool play record was a little disappointing and had us playing off in the bottom eight. Our first game in these play-offs had us facing St Peters Auckland. The Spartans came out focused for this game. It was another back and forward battle in the first half with the lead changing on a regular basis. Sean Kelly broke the game open in the third quarter by hitting four three- pointers in the space of a few minutes. Joel Jeffrey continued the scoring to help push the lead out further. The final score was a 104 – 80 win to SBHS. Sean had 27, Joel 23, Mona, 14, Saint 12 and Josh 10.
After two wins the team was on a bit of a roll and came up against a team we had already beaten this year, Waimea. This was always going to be a tough game, and things got tougher for us when big man Josh Thomson took an elbow to the head and received concussion. This was unfortunate as Josh was having his way with the smaller Waimea players, scoring 16 points in a quarter and a half. Joel Jeffrey (21) and Sean Kelly (16) did the bulk of the scoring after Joshs' injury. A long three pointer by Sean and a clutch free throw from Hamsa Shire sealed a close game for us 86 – 85.
Our final game of the Tournament had has playing a young athletic team from Fraser High. This game was the bottom eight final and the winner would finish the tournament in 17th spot. During the first half it was a close back and forward game. The Spartans picked up their intensity in the second half and slowly started to pull away and eventually finished with a well-deserved 90-82 win. At the conclusion of the game the Fraser High students performed an impressive Haka as a sign of respect for our team. It was a great way to finish the tournament.
Joel Jeffrey capped of an impressive run at this tournament scoring 26 points. While Sean Kelly and Hamsa Shire finished off their Shirley Basketball career by scoring 22 and 21 respectively. Saint Porter also played a pivotal role in his final game by dominating the boards and playing some lock down defence. Noah Westwood also stepped up and slotted 12 points.
A long eight days in Palmy had us finish 17th in the country with a four- win and four- loss record: a pleasing result for the team, and a good eye-opener for all those players returning in 2018.
The team would like to thank Russell Stocks for all his efforts planning and organising this trip.
A big thank you to assistant coach Nat Connell for all his support and knowledge of the game, and his motivational speeches.
We would also like to thank all the parents for their support throughout the year and their financial assistance for getting the boys to Palmerston North.
A massive thank you from the team goes to Paul and Nina Nanai, and Karen Jeffrey who cooked and prepared meals for the team during the tournament and also provided other assistance for us throughout the tournament – your help was greatly appreciated.
Finally, I would like to personally thank Sean Kelly, Hamsa Shire and Saint Porter for their years of loyal dedication to the Shirley Basketball programme. All three men have been true leaders of this team on and off the court. They have been great role models to the younger boys in the team and have left a positive mark on Shirley Basketball. I have appreciated your enthusiasm and your support. All the best for your future Basketball careers. Scott Howell.
Congratulations to Jackson Taylor, who has reached the milestone of 100 games for the SBHS Super Touch team. He is the fourth person ever to reach this milestone.