by Andrew Lee

Darfield finished 7th at South Island Tournament in Nelson

Darfield sent their Junior A squad (the Crocs) to Nelson to compete in the South Island A Grade Championships

The Darfield Junior A Basketball team travelled to Nelson recently for the South Island A Grade championships. This was a chance to play in a South Island-wide tournament against schools in a Tier-2 format. The boys were well up for the trip, they trained hard and finished 7th overall which was very pleasing.

Crocs Squad:

Finn Jacobs, Austin Earl, Harley Scobie, Lucas Tapa-Wither, Taane Buechele, James Campbell, Will Bonnett, Willy Macpherson, Quinn McClimont, Blake Taylor.

Andy Lee - Head Coach

Simon Earl - Team Manager

Game 1 - vs Nayland College - 58-55 WIN

Nerves! The boys were more nervous than expected in Game 1, pressure like no other. A rare feat, they scored zero points in the whole 1st quarter (a rarity in Basketball). Luckily the Darfield defence was solid and we only conceded 10 points in that period. After taking a breath and a bit of a chat, the boys were off to the races. The game was tight and Darfield pulled off a 58-55 victory, holding off Nayland’s last shot to steal the game. A good start to the tournament.

Scorers: Quinn McClimont (22), Austin Earl (11), Finn Jacobs (8), Will Bonnett (7), Lucas (6), Willy Macpherson (3), Harley Scobie (2).

Game 2 - vs Rolleston College - 97-77 LOSS

The boys hit a wall against a fast-paced and hard hitting Rolleston squad. They had previously met in the Selwyn Quad where Rolleston won by 12 points so the boys were confident but couldn’t get their shots to fall. Day 1 fatigue also was a contributing factor. A good reality check early on.

Scorers: Will Bonnett (18), Austin Earl (17), Lucas Tapa-Wither (16),Quinn McClimont (10), Harley Scobie (6), Taane Buechele (6), Willy Macpherson (4).

Game 3 - vs Greymouth High School - 51-46 WIN

A new day, a fresh message and a fired up squad ready to right the ship against Greymouth. Greymouth had shooting ability which the boys managed to shut down and then we attacked them in the paint. A refreshing victory against new opposition.

Scorers: Quinn McClimont (15), Austin Earl (9), Finn Jacobs (8), Lucas Tapa-Wither (6), Willy Macpherson (6), Will Bonnett (3), Harley Scobie (2).

Game 4 - vs Westland High School - 70-57 WIN

The boys, wanting to build on their momentum, turned their focus to Westland High School. We raced out in front, utilising the full court press and a handy FIST play. Westlands' bigs couldn’t control the speed and intensity of the Darfield guards. Westland did make a push to come back at the end but to no avail. Boys spirits are riding high by this point.

Scorers: Lucas Tapa-Wither (16), Quinn McClimont (16), Finn Jacobs (10), Austin Earl (9), Will Bonnett (6), Willy Macpherson (6), Taane Buechele (4), Harley Scobie (3).

Game 5 - vs Hillview Christian School - 79-77 LOSS

Easily the most compelling game of our tournament. Bit of history, these two teams met twice in the last two weeks in the local schools competition. Hillview won the first encounter 89-30 (Yes, you read that right) and then again in the local schools final 60-40. Hillview were definitely a strong team and the boys had their work cut out for them. There was fear we would be too tired and they would run away with it again….WRONG! Our boys rose up high, then higher again, then higher and higher again. We were neck and neck all game long. Tough calls by referees and 50/50 shots had both coaches sweating. In the end it came down to a call by a referee that was controversial to say the least….a rough way to end the game but that’s how sport goes….We lost by two…..We were gutted.

Coach Lee however wanted to take as many positives away from the game as possible (and there were heaps!) as Darfield entered the quarterfinals.

Scorers: Will Bonnett (21), Quinn McClimont (18), Austin Earl (13), Finn Jacobs (12), Lucas Tapa-Wither (5), Willy Macpherson (5), James Campbell (2)

Darfield High School finished 3rd in Pool B with 3 Wins and 2 Losses heading into the Quarterfinals. We were stoked to be in the position we were in.

Game 6 - Quarterfinal vs Ashburton College - 104-64 LOSS

It was pretty difficult for the boys to replicate their effort against Hillview into Ashburton on the same day, big ask. Ashburton had a large, near 2m tall centre and a Point Guard who was “money” from anywhere on the court. Darfield put up the fight but the gas tanks ran out too early. 6 games in 3 days was definitely taking its toll on the bodies. Ashburton had the game locked up by the end of the third quarter and blew it out at the end. The boys played well and enjoyed the fact they were in a South Island QF. Ashburton College would go onto win the tournament overall.

Scorers: Finn Jacobs (15), Will Bonnett (13), Austin Earl (8), Lucas Tapa-Wither (8) Quinn McClimont (8),Willy Macpherson (6), Harley Scobie (2), James Campbell (2), Taane Buechele (2).

Game 7 - Plate Semi-Final vs Hillview Christian School - 79-40 LOSS

You know when your car has no gas left in the tank, and it eventually just stops? That’s us on the morning of Day 4 (Day 5 including travel). The enthusiasm was there and the desire to get one win over Hillview who had broken our hearts the day before, but the legs just wouldn’t listen. We started with a fight but once Hillview developed a half-decent lead, we were done. To the boys credit, they held their heads up and supported the boys on the court.

Couldn’t locate scorers for this game.

Game 8 - 7th/8th Playoff vs Nayland College - 119-79 WIN

Coach Lee’s favourite game of the tournament (yep, even better than Hillview). The boys were knackered but wanted to leave Nelson with one last W! Nayland started meekly and our boys lowered themselves to that level. At the end of the first quarter we were shocked, trailing 27-11 after the first 10 minutes (yep, you read that correctly too). Coach Moment, “Boys, run your full court press, deny every pass, pick off the ball and go for layups”. It took 18 seconds for the Nayland coach to sweat and use a timeout. The boys equalised after 5minutes. We were an accelerating train and all Nayland could do was get out of the way. The boys stymied the Nayland team, they couldn’t inbound the ball without our boys picking it off. We built and built on that and then ran FIST over and over again until we approached 100 points. Coach Lee was hungry for a century, something this team hadn’t accomplished yet. We got there with minutes to spare in the fourth. Finn Jacobs was unstoppable in this game, dropping a career high 50 points! We had massive support from the U15 rugby boys, they were chanting the whole second half and had the stadium roaring (again, a rare feat for a visiting school, in Nelson).

Scorers also unavailable for this game. See note on Finn’s 50 points.


The boys had a great tournament, not only did they finish respectively 7th but each player showed improvement in confidence and ability. The team learned how to support each other and make each other better and our on-court vibes were very positive.

Thanks goes out to:

Simon Earl for his efforts as a manager, chef and driver for 5 days.

Melissa McSeveny for her photography skills.

Cam McClimont for running the sheet and collecting scorers.

Darren & Roz Scobie for sponsoring the boys awesome new kits (Scobie Tyres)

And all our supporters back home for their positive and supportive messages.