Battered and bruised Waimea to play for 11th
Waimea College Senior A were to play off for 11th position at the New Zealand Secondary Schools tournament in Timaru, following a win and a loss in some punishing games yesterday.
In the early game against Westlake Girls' High School, Waimea were beaten up on the court and beaten 31-23 on the scoreboard by the Auckland team. Used to playing in a highly physical competition, Westlake smashed Waimea into submission after star centre Kaitlyn Stringer was taken out in the first quarter.
The Westlake midcourt formed a barrier, pulling in nine intercepts. Westlake also dominated the rebounds, claiming 80 per cent.
Westlake went out to a 10-4 lead early on before Waimea fought back to trail 16-13 at halftime. In the third quarter, Westlake stamped out any resistance, entering the final period 23-16 ahead.
The Auckland side had almost double the number of contact penalties Waimea gave away, getting pinged 45 times.
Waimea coach Faye Eden said Nelson teams were simply not used to playing such a confrontational brand of netball, but she was also livid at the treatment of her players.
"‘It was pretty tough, but that's what happens when you play those Auckland teams. They just completely hammered us. If a team played like that in Nelson, they would all be marched off the court.
"There were tears. Kaitlyn just got completely smashed into a wall, and is probably out for the rest of the tournament. She was completely shoved [in the back], smashed into the wall and she was pretty much bent in half."
With weary bodies and more than a few bruises, Waimea entered their second match, against Whakatane's Trident High School, without Stringer. They turned on a super effort for their injured team-mate, who was watching from the stands, spearing Trident 39-29.
Waimea took an early 10-8 lead before Trident pulled one back to go to the break 18-17 down. In the third quarter, Waimea found their range, pushing out to a 29-23 lead before a 10-6 final quarter.
Shifting Georgia Roberts from goal defence to goal attack proved a lucrative tactic as she shot eight goals from 10 attempts, while goal shoot Shaun Aindow was on target, missing only twice for her 28 goals.
Waimea were much sharper at the defensive end and through the midcourt, forcing their opponents into 23 turnovers. Defenders Hannah Davenhill, Roberts, Freya Watson and wing defence Ashley Laing all had harrying but clean games.
"It was an outstanding performance," said Eden.
"The defence was absolutely amazing . . . and Shaun shot like a demon.
"We play off for 11th, but that is okay, because if we win that, then that's three wins here. We only got two last time and we finished eighth."
At 10.10am today, Waimea were to play Palmerston North Girls for 11th spot. Stringer was still in doubt for the match.
- The Nelson Mail