Defending champions Rahui picked up their form after a patchy couple of weeks, dominating Feilding A1 in their club match at the B&M Centre last night.
After a loss and a scrappy win in the past two weeks, Rahui improved and even with a re-jigged lineup in the last quarter, they were a cut above Feilding, winning 49-36.
After only a couple of minutes, Rahui had shot out to an eight-point lead in the first quarter and even though Feilding won the low-scoring second quarter 9-8, Rahui were up 24-17 at halftime.
Rahui centre Ariana Kiel was good with her circle feeding and the defensive end of Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Hinekura Winiata were too strong, with the tall Selby-Rickit getting all the rebounds.
Rahui swapped Selby-Rickit and Winiata with shooters Maraea Murray (16 from 23) and Katarina Cooper (22 from 26) in the last quarter, but Feilding were too far behind to catch up despite winning the fourth quarter 14-11.
Feilding only scored five goals in the third spell.
Natalie Walford stood out for Feilding at wing defence, trying her best to disrupt Rahui, and Darci Brostow was good in one quarter at wing attack.
Feilding goal shoot Beth McAsey nailed 19 from 24 and Irihapeti Taruima shot 17 from 25.
Fifth-placed Feilding have to beat Massey A1, who are fourth, next week to sneak into the top four.
Manukura Black's hot run into the playoffs continued as they dominated all quarters to beat Massey A1 64-41.
The closest Massey got was in the last quarter, which Manukura won 13-11, but otherwise Manukura were too good for the fourth-placed Massey.
Manukura goal attack Renee Matoe had a quiet night by her standards, shooting 17 from 21, but it was goal shoot Te Amo Amaru-Tibble, who sunk 43 from 51 attempts.
For Massey, their best shooters were Keaghan Seymour (15 from 18) and Kamie Veikoso (15 from 22).
The win keeps Manukura on top of the table on points differential, while Massey need to win or draw against Feilding A1 in the final round next week to secure a spot in the semifinals.
In the only close game of the night, Manukura Red and Switch couldn't be separated in a 45-all draw.
Switch had the better of the first half and had a narrow 21-20 lead at halftime. But it looked like Manukura's fitness had kicked in as they got in front midway through the third, before Switch came back at them and levelled things with just seconds left on the clock.
Switch's best shooter was Brooke Clarke with 20 from 27, Angela Armstrong-Lush shot 14 from 15 and Cat Scoon 11 from 18.
Manukura goal shoot Diahn Strickland was spot on with her shooting with 17 from 19, while Emma-May Murray-Fifita had 28 from 35.
Feilding A2's strong defence made sure Palmerston North Girls' High School never looked like breaking their winless streak.
Feilding won comfortably in the end, 55-33, as Girls' High's chances of getting their first win are looking harder with only one game left.
Girls' High looked good in midcourt in the first quarter and the scores were tied up at 12-all at quarter time.
But then Feilding took control, with defenders Jessica Brett and Darnelle Nugent-O'Leary shutting them out of the game.
The pair were picking up intercepts and had a mortgage on the shooting circle so the schoolgirls had to, unsuccessfully, shoot from far out.
At the other end Feilding also had goal shoot Georgia Coombes, who shot 47 from 59, using her height to grab all the rebounds.
Centre Hayley Sharpe and wing attack Bardo Tuhaka-Ensing were firing high balls fed into Coombes in the circle, which Girls' High couldn't stop.
Girls' High's shooting improved with Maia Watling on at goal shoot in the last quarter, sinking six from seven, but they were too far behind.
Hannah Rowe shot 17 from 24 in three quarters on court and Tessa Marsh shot 10 from 18.
Last night's results:
Rahui 49 Feilding A1 36 Manukura Red 45 Switch 45 Manukura Black 64 Massey A1 44 Feilding A2 55 PNGHS 33 Points table P W D L F A BP Pts Manukura Blk 13 12 0 1 842 596 0 36 Rahui 13 13 0 1 778 543 0 36 Manukura Red 13 7 2 4 660 649 1 26 Massey A1 13 7 1 5 684 610 2 25 Feilding A1 13 7 0 6 561 500 2 23 Switch 13 2 1 10 576 723 3 11 Feilding A2 13 3 0 10 506 730 0 9 PNGHS 13 0 0 13 502 706 3 3
- Manawatu Standard
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