5th Place Finish = Nationals!! Let’s Goooooo!

Thank you to Manager Lindsay Robinson for the follow write up on the Senior Boys Basketball tournament to Dunedin. Also a huge thank you to Coach Jeff Hawes for all his work from this season to get the team working so well and putting it on the court during tournament for what they have been aiming for all year.

The Senior Boys Basketball team hit the road on the 30th August to Dunedin and due to covid restrictions this was the first opportunity, and for some the last, to compete in a major tournament. 

Tuesday 31st August – vs Buller HS and Hornby HS

Game 1 – It was a long way to come to meet our neighbours first-up. There was a real desire for payback in this game due to a narrow loss in their previous meeting just four weeks ago at thee WCSS tournament. From the outset Greymouth played with aggression and physical defence. They dominated Bulller physically around the hoop and took some excellent outside shooting options. After establishing a commanding lead in the first quarter, they built on this to lead by 40 by the end of the third quarter. Coach Hawes then had the luxury of running his bench over the final quarter and it was they who ticked the score over the 100 mark. Marty Rochford led the guardline well. Old hands Theo Barnett and Joseph Cotterill combined with new man Declyn King to control the boards at both ends. Quaid Roche drained two vital three pointers and helped Marty with the offence. Bench players Corbin Bugler, Levi Burgess, Callan McGuire-Lowe, Cayden Miller and Jakeb Rochford all contributed to what was a strong team effort. The final score was 101-54 in favour of Greymouth. Scorers: Marty 32 (including 5x 3 pointers, Theo 23, Joseph 14, Declyn 9, Quaid 10, Cayden 5, Levi 4, Jakeb 4

Game 2 – The next game was a wake-up call for the team as they came up against a fast, skilled and well-drilled Hornby team. They were adept at full court man to man and dominated a shell-shocked Greymouth in the first quarter to lead by 8-36. It would have been easy for Greymouth to crumble under this early onslaught but instead they regrouped and overcame the defensive pressure to gain parity over the final three quarters. Declyn King, vindicated his starting five position with a strong rebounding performance at both ends. Theo Barnett and Joseph Cotterill came to life in the second half to register some key baskets and boost the team’s confidence. Jakeb Rochford came off the bench to play great defence, run the lanes well and finish off with some great shooting under pressure. The final score was 65-106 to Hornby. Scorers: Marty 14, Theo 13, Declyn 12, Jakeb 10, Joseph 9, Quaid 5, Corbin 2

Thursday 1st September – vs St Kevin’s College and John Paul II HS

Game 3 – This was a game that for three quarters was there for the taking. Unfortunately in the final quarter a combination of foul trouble and some lucky breaks for the opposition resulted in a 21 point loss to St Kevin’s College from Oamaru. After a sluggish start in the first quarter, the Greymouth boys kept within 6 points and won the third quarter. In this game Theo Barnett led all scorers with a game high 27 points. Marty Rochford was again in the thick of everything in both offence and defence and was rewarded with 17 points. Declyn King was again strong on defence, hauling in numerous rebounds and shutting down St Kevins’ excellent big man. An issue was the lack of points to combine for a strong team effort and in the fourth quarter the opposition shut down our main threats and pulled away to win 62-83 to St Kevin’s. Scorers: Theo 27, Marty 17, Joseph 8, Quaid 5, Jakeb 4, Declyn 1.

Game 4 – The final game on Thursday was against their nemesis from Greymouth – John Paul II. There were high expectations that Greymouth could upset their higher ranked opponent and after a close first quarter it looked as if an upset was on the cards. They were within 5 points at half-time. Highlight of this period was a coast to coast penetration and finish by Declyn through a wall of John Paul II players. However, a strong defensive spell in the third quarter by John Paul II, who targeted key members of the GHS team saw them pull away to a comfortable lead which they extended in the final quarter when Theo and Joseph fouled out. Due to this Levi, Callan, and Cayden got extended spells on the court only helping build their confidence on court. The final score of 58-85 was not a fair reflection of this game which was fiercely competitive. Scorers: Marty 20, Joseph 11, Declyn 9, Theo 6, Jakeb 5, Corbin 3, Callan 2, Levi 2

Friday 2nd September – vs Aparima College, Quarterfinals

Game 5 – After placing 4th in Pool A the team faced a daunting quarter-final against ultimate tournament winners, Aparima College, who had progressed unbeaten through the pool stages. The Greymouth team again gave a really good account of themselves in the first half to trail by just 4 points. Sadly third quarter blues and foul trouble resulted in Aparama wresting the initiative and dominating the quarter. When Theo fouled out the team struggled and the game was lost 67-96. Despite the final margin, the team were again competitive for much of the game. Scorers: Theo 26, Marty 20, Joseph 10, Declyn 7, Levi 2

Saturday 3rd September – vs Rangiora New Life College and Dunstan HS

Game 6 – Greymouth High School needed to win both games on day 4 to qualify for the prestigious Secondary School Nationals and to do this they would need to play consistently in every quarter. In this game they finally started off well and dominated the first two quarters to lead by 51-37 at half-time. Rangiora fought back in the second spell but Greymouth held their composure to win by 91-80. Theo, by this stage was hitting top form in all facets of the game and along with Marty led from the front. Declyn was again, a beast who dominated the keyhole and the rebounding stats, and Corbin had his best game of the tournament taking the court strongly off the bench. Scorers: Theo 31, Marty 25, Joseph 12, Declyn 10, Corbin 8, Quaid 5

Game 7 – The winner of this game would qualify for Nationals and the team was fired up. Unfortunately perhaps too fiery, as they lost some composure in the first half and were not so clinical in their finishing. Nevertheless they remained in touch to trail by just 10 at halftime. The pendulum swung in the second half as Greymouth clawed their way back into the game to trail by only 4 at the three quarters mark. A rousing team talk from Coach Hawes and the seniors led to an overwhelming fourth quarter in which the Greymouth boys were completely dominant. They won this quarter 34-10 to take the game 88-66 and the qualification for nationals! The emotional reaction of the boys at the end of the game was a response to the effort they made throughout this tournament against strong opposition. The team which were not expected to qualify had done so against the odds. The team seniors Theo, Marty and Joseph will finally get a crack at nationals after Covid denied them the opportunity in the two previous years. Fittingly it was they who dominated the scoring stats. Scorers were:Marty 32, Theo 26, Joseph 22, Declyn 6.

Team: Marty Rochford (captain), Theo Barnett, Joseph Cotterill, Declyn King, Quaid Roche, Corbin Bugler, Jakeb Rochford, Cayden Miller, Levi Burgess and Callan McGuire-Lowe.

Image by: Sport Dept.

Thanks must go to BBNZ, Basketball Otago, Rebecca Moon – referee coordinator, Greg Brockbank – tournament controller, and Peter Drew. It was an extremely well-run tournament in a great venue. A big shout out to the parents and Maddy Crawford (Sports Coordinator) who helped make this possible.

Image by: Sport Dept.