Seven selected for national U13s
Both Marlborough teams were top performers in the Tasman under-13 regional basketball tournament held at Marlborough Lines Stadium in Blenheim over the weekend.
The host association took out the boys' title, while the Marlborough girls' side placed second and as a result a total of seven Marlborough players earned selection in the initial 15-player Tasman squads for national under-13 tournament.
Nelson Town were the Marlborough boys' teams first opponents and Marlborough got off to a strong start with a 75-39 victory. Anzac Rissetto made his presence felt on defence and combined well with Kobe Miller, who drove the ball down court strongly. Tom Downes, Harrison MacKenzie and Daniel Baxter were other standouts.
Marlborough hammered West Coast 118-20 in their second game and, after they built up a big lead at halftime, a number of bench players made good contributions in the second spell. Finn Southey, Max Struthers, Torbin Otway, William Day and Breyton Jones all impressed for the home side.
On Sunday, Marlborough cruised past Waimea 104-33 before securing the overall title with a 85-37 win over Stoke. Marlborough's top scorers and outstanding players across the four matches were captain Miller, Downes, Rissetto and MacKenzie.
Meanwhile, the Marlborough girls' team won four from five, with their only loss coming first-up against eventual champions Buller, 60-77.
Marlborough started slowly and were 4-23 down at quartertime, but things began to improve in the second quarter and at halftime it was 19-40. A drop off after the break saw Buller extend their lead to 28-62 with one quarter to play, but Marlborough produced their best in a superb final quarter and outscored their opponents 32-15.
With a tough match under their belts and nerves gone, Marlborough were too slick for their remaining opposition. They beat Stoke 85-25, West Coast 82-23 and Nelson Town 89-36, finishing with a 99-40 victory over Waimea.
Coach of the Marlborough side Simon Halliday said second was a "very satisfying result" considering only three of last year's team were involved this time around. Captain Billie Watson, Ella Donald and Phoebe Trolove were the standout players and had good support from Elisha Godsiff, Ensilina Pale, Nikcarla Laird, Maiden Tupara and Amy Mackay.
Four boys and three girls from Marlborough were selected in the initial Tasman under-13 squads.
Miller, Downes, Rissetto and MacKenzie made the cut for the boys' squad, while Watson, Donald and Pale were named in the girls' squad.
Those 15-player squads will be cut down to 12 after a training camp next month, and then 10 players and two non-travelling reserves will be selected for the national tournament in Dunedin from October 9 to 13.
The Marlborough Express