Aquinas was well represented during Winter Tournament Week this year with Basketball, Football, Hockey and Netball teams traveling to Auckland, Rotorua, Hamilton and Whanganui. Below is a brief of how the teams went.
Basketball – Junior Girls and Boys
Aquinas College basketball was well represented in the recent junior regional championships held in Rotorua during tournament week. The tournament ran over 4 days and there were some highly skilled teams playing that was a big step up from our local competition. Both our junior girls and boys teams played with real heart on court and fought hard to keep themselves competitive in matches when the score could easily have blown out. This was due to some tenacious defence by AC and it was great to watch. After 4 days of competition the girls finished 7th with an epic win over our local rivals Tauranga Girls by just 2 points when we had been down the entire match. This was a great fight back by the girls and coach Mike Rogers was suitably impressed with that performance. The boys team who had a couple of early losses in the tournament did not let this dampen their spirits, in fact they played their strongest basketball on the final 2 days of competition to finish 9th place. Coach Matt Adsett of the boys team was thrilled with the boys comeback and highlighted how the boys exemplified the touchstones of the school both on and off the court.
Basketball – Senior Boys
The Aquinas College Senior A boys basketball team recently played in the Schick Northern Cup which was held at the North Shore Events Centre from Sept 5 – 7. The team had been hit hard by injuries leading up to the tournament and this gave the younger members of the team a great opportunity to stand up and take on more responsibility on the court. It was a great experience for the boys and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. With the majority of the team being Year 11 the future of Aquinas basketball looks bright! Thanks to Lawrence Young for coaching the team.
On Monday of tournament week, the girls fought a hard game against Rotorua Girls, unfortunately they didn’t come home with a win. This only made them more motivated to do better in the next game. On the Tuesday they played two games and came out victorious in both. This resulted in second place in our pool, meaning they made it into the top 8. St Peters Cambridge was the next day, unfortunately they were a whole other league to us coming away with a 9 – nil score. Thus, the semi- finals did not become a reality for the Aquinas 1XI hockey team this year. So, although ultimate victory was not the horizon, 8th place was. The girls played with determination but to their disappointment the efforts were not reflected on the score board and we left without a trophy in hand. The girls are already looking forward to claiming their rightful throne next year!
The Aquinas College First XI Hockey boys team travelled to Rotorua to compete in the Woolaston Trophy. The team was hit hard by an injury to a key player, days out from tournament. However, the inclusion of Fergus Lellman to the tournament team brought some direction and leadership. The boys got off to a great start winning their first two pool games. The results in the other pool games meant that the likelihood of the boys going through to the top 8 was very high. A narrow loss to Gisborne Boys’ High School in the final pool match refocused the boys before the quarterfinal match with Cambridge High School. The boys fought well but couldn’t quite put their opportunities away and came away from that match with a narrow 1-0 loss. This meant that they could only playoff for 5th – 8th place. With only a few players leaving next year, this was a good opportunity to give the younger boys some experience and develop the team for next season. This valuable experience will bode well for the boys next season, and the future of hockey here at Aquinas College is exciting. He mihi nui tēnei ki ngā kaiawhina, ngā kaiwhakahaere, me ngā mātua o tēnei tīma.
With a large number of new and young players for this year, our trip to the Maurice Hulme Winter Tournament Week, in Rotorua, was looming as a bit more of a challenge than previous years. We were drawn in the ‘pool of death’ which included two strong Auckland schools, a stronger Hamilton school, a not so strong Northland school and one comparable school from Palmerston North. Our girls would need to be primed and raring to go for every game.
Despite the prospects, our girls were keen to enjoy the experience and they certainly tried in every game despite the uneven odds. They even had enough energy for a couple of active games of Laser Tag in our midweek down-time. After four uneven pool games, and one that just didn’t go our way, we finally found our scoring boots in the knockout games. However, unfortunately we still struggled to score more than we conceded in each game and, although we had enjoyed success in the fun penalty shoot-out event, we found ourselves on the losing end of a final penalty shoot-out that settled our last game, and that was after conceding a late equalising goal by the opposition. A sucker punch to bring our week to an end, and not the most successful week of football, but a great experience for our young squad and one they can hopefully learn from, in readiness for next year. Thank you Chris Phayer for your awesome coaching!
Football – Boys
The Boys all headed down to Whanganui to play in the Trident Tournament. It was a tough start to the week with a couple of injuries and illnesses facing the team. From the 5th round the remained undefeated when all team players were available to take the field. This included beating a local Prem team Katikati 1-0 – one of our best games played this season. The boys had a great week playing together, bonding together and giving each other haircuts. But the highlight of the week has to told!
Picture this, it is nil all in a knockout game during tourney week with less than 10 minutes to go, it is getting tense – the coach looks to the bench and sees a young man itching to get on and be the man of the moment – on goes young Sam Rush, and his moment arrives within minutes. Tom McCarroll bursts up the wing, puts in a pin point cross to Dan Sheahan who rises majestically above his marker to nod the ball across the goal to his striking partner – Sam the Man – hoping he would chest the ball down and cushion the ball into the old onion bag. But this young man’s inner Wayne Rooney took hold and a spectacular overhead volley was attempted – unfortunately it did not end in the result we needed but never the less what a moment – an outstanding effort by the young fellow. This also provided the evening‘s entertainment as it was all caught on camera.
Thank you to Tony Eberlein and Andrew Berntsen for taking the lads away for the week.
The Netball Girls headed up to the North Shore in Auckland for their UNISS experience this year. Heading into the Tournament we had a strong team made up of 8 Year 13 and 3 Year 12 Students.
The girls won all 3 of the games in their first pool, so moved on to the top half of their grade comprised of 32 teams. After further strong performances throughout the next couple of days, the girls made it to the top 8 teams. After a 1 point loss in the penultimate match, they played for 7th/8th place of 32 teams. The momentum that started the week was unfortunately unable to continue through to end but should still be very proud of their finish 8th in the C Grade.
The girls all had a great time together, celebrating the final year of Netball before the vast majority head out of school next year. A special thank you to Theresa Price and Mary Patel, you were a wonderful Coaching and Managing duo.