Waitākere College

Basketball At Tournament Week

A fantastic Tournament week for the Junior Boys, Open Girls and Open Boys!


The Junior Prem Boys Basketball Team took part in the Junior Schools Premiership for Zone 1 during Tournament Week.  Zone 1 covers schools between the Bombays and the top of the North Island.  The year 9 and 10 boys competed in the A grade against some talented opposition including some very reputable basketball schools.  Pool play saw our team drop just a single game in a pool that had the Rosmini B team, Howick College, and St Paul’s College.

After good wins over Onehunga College and Tauraroa Area School teams in the Quarter Finals, we played a very strong Kristin team in the Semi-Final.  This was our best performance of the tournament and the closely fought game had the stands cheering.  Waitakere took an early lead to be 19-11 at the end of the first quarter.  By half time Kristin had reversed that to be in the lead 35-31.  The Waitākere boys fought back to lead 54-47 going into the last quarter. The game finished 68-62 to Waitākere. 

The final against St Paul’s College was a physical affair with both sides racking up a huge number of fouls in their defensive efforts.  After being 67-47 behind halfway through the third quarter, the determined Waitākere side almost pulled off a miraculous comeback to lead by 3 points seven minutes from halftime.  The final score of 92-84 at the end of a 2-hour game was a credit to the effort of the boys who didn’t stop trying until the final whistle.

The Junior Prem Boys finished a credible second in the tournament out of 15 schools. A special thanks to the parents who supported the team over the 4 days, manager Pippa Tu’atonga, assistant coach Kevin Pitout, and especially Phillip Skeen who coached these talented boys to a very successful season.  Congratulations team.  A silver medal reward for a gold medal effort!  


Between 31st August & 2nd September, the Open Girls competed at the Northern Cup, held at Bruce Pullman Park in Papakura. This tournament is predominantly for those schools from as far south as Hamilton, as far as East Tauranga & Rotorua, and North as far as Kerikeri & Te Tai Tokerau. This event provides a unique opportunity for teams to compete against other opposition they naturally wouldn't come across during the regular season.

 The opening game for this team was against Pukekohe High, where victory came with a come-from-behind win of 44-39. This was due to some strong defensive pressure, which had gotten the opposition into foul trouble. Unfortunately, this early success didn't continue over the next two games, with close losses to Waiuku College & One Tree Hill College with scores of 60-52 & 59-51 respectively. The final pool game was against local rivals Kelston Girls High. The team reversed their previously slow starts, by shooting out to an early 10-0 lead, eventually winning the game 47-36. This put the team into a crossover playoff game for 5th & 6th place against Rosehill College. In this game, the bad habit of a slow start had unfortunately returned, as the team was playing catch-up for the entire game. However, the Girls had a "never say die" attitude fighting all the way to the final hooter, just going down in the end to a score of 49-46, to finish 6th overall.

Thank you to Pete Richardson for your time and effort throughout the week. The experience gained by all the players on the team has been invaluable. For the year 13 players in the squad, hopefully, they will continue with the sport beyond High School. As for the younger team members, they now know what is required to compete at this tournament and the level they need to be at when they return next year!


During tournament week the Open Boys basketball team played in the AA Premiership National Qualifying Tournament held on the North Shore of Auckland. The tournament had many higher-level teams including several premier division teams. This allowed our students to gain a great insight into the abilities of players in higher divisions and as such allow our students the opportunity to play against higher-level opposition. 

During pool play, the team came up against some tough teams. The players developed greatly from this experience and pushed some of the Premier/Senior A teams (Westlake Boys and Rangitoto College and Manurewa High School) for some of their games, showing great determination and desire. Even though several of these games ended in large losses our players took the positives away from the games and had a very positive attitude towards the further games. 

The result of pool play placed Waitakere in the bottom 5 round robin where they had a couple of good wins against Rosmini Senior A and Selwyn College while falling short to Whangārei Boys High School and Howick College. The experience for the team was amazing and it was great to see some players stand up and grow over the tournament. The players have been a credit to the school and themselves and with this experience and further determination, we endeavor to finish in a higher position when we attend the tournament next year. 

A big thanks to Coach Duke Lotam for his hard work with the team, Matt Cicchini and Philip Brain for helping out over the week, as well as June Tai Tin for being the basketball tournament week photographer.

For all results see our sports results page here

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