South Island Secondary Schools Basketball Tournament
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South Island Secondary Schools Basketball Tournament
At 5am we set sail for the adventure capital of the world so we could board our flight and head up to Nelson for our South Island Secondary Schools A Premiership Tournament.

We touched down in Nelson at about 12:30 due to a layover in Christchurch and with no games that day we set off exploring the suburb of tahuna. Our first game came around quite quickly and we were playing Garrin College. 

First quarter the game was quite close but then we started trying which ended in a 39 point win 93-54. Second game we came up against Hornby High School which was a game we desperately wanted to win because they beat us last year by 20 points and let us hear about it. Game started and like usual it was quite close in the first half but thanks to a great performance by Taine Herbert-Nicho and Thomas Patrick in the second half we clawed out and opened the floodgates, winning by 31 points 51-82. With a double header that day we ended up playing Greymouth High School 5 hours later and for the 3rd time we came out to a slow start and were losing at half. We brought the energy in second and with a great game plan we took them down by 13 finishing with a score of 79-66. This game was significant because it booked our ticket to nationals and sent us through to the semi finals. 

Semis rolled around the day after and we were lacing up against a tough Verdon College squad. This game I would say was our first real challenge as we did not find a way to run away from them all game. They had a very well built team but so did we and we gained an edge from great guard play in the 4th quarter. We won this game 74-64 and it booked our ticket to the finals against none other than Central Southland College. 

The day of the finals the boys were all quite nervous, as none of us had played on a stage like that before, but we were all confident in our training and in each other. First quarter we came out guns blazing and got to an early 10 point lead but from that point on it looked like they wanted it more. They out rebounded us and got us into foul trouble early and we just couldn't manage to get shots in. We were still fighting and we stayed in the game right up until the last minute but they proved too much for us and we ended up taking silver. 2nd place in the South Islands is a very great achievement, as Dunstan hasn't done that in a very long time and we will be heading to nationals in three weeks to get our revenge and hopefully bring home gold this time.

Nikora Thomas-Kavanagh

This article was originally posted on: September, 7th 2023