Garin rallies for third spot finish

Garin College have finished third overall in the A grade at the nationals in Nelson and Nayland College earned a tense win over Burnside to progress to the AA semifinal at the Trafalgar Centre tonight. Early yesterday, Garin College were beaten by Dunstan High, a school that is quickly earning arch-rival status. The school from Alexandra recorded a 102-61 victory, adding to their win over Garin in the final of the South Island tournament.

Garin struggled to finish their plays as the Dunstan defence strangled their attack.

In the playoff for third and fourth, Garin defeated Nga Taiatea 107-77, finishing as the third-placed school with a co-ed roll under 600. Brodie Sidwell had another influential game, scoring an individual half-century of points with good support from Joel MacManus (24). Sidwell also made the A schools tournament team named last night after the final, which was won by Te Aroha.

Coach Grant Sidwell said the result was fantastic for Garin College who have been improving over the past couple of years.

In the AA nationals Nayland College will at least equal their best-ever result for basketball in national competition. A fourth place two years ago stands as the top mark achieved, but Nayland could still go all the way to the final if they can beat 2011 champions Rosmini College in their semifinal at Trafalgar Centre at 7.30pm tonight.

Nayland College were at times sublime in their 70-67 defeat of Burnside. A 19-5 second quarter stunned their opposition as big man Angus Riley was unmatched, scoring 21 points. Captain Scott Cameron made some crucial plays throughout the match but as the game went into the final minutes, it was all tied up.

Step up three pieces of individual performance under pressure. First Jonas Kale, who had a shocking night shooting by his own standards, nailed the one that counted. Kale hit a big three-pointer to give Nayland a one-point lead after Burnside had scored.

Burnside was forced to foul and the cool hand of Nathan Dempster sent both his free-throws through the basket. And with time in possession key to Nayland's victory, Laughlan Campion pulled down an offensive rebound that bought cheers from the Nayland support.

Nelson College lost their 9th-to-16th-place quarterfinal against Fraser High School 82-73. Nelson College were due to play Palmerston North Boys' High School at 9am in the 13-16th semifinal.

The Nelson Mail