New Plymouth Girls' High School emphasised their dominance of the secondary schools zone three regional basketball tournament with a thumping win in the final on Saturday.
Girls' High stormed through the tournament unbeaten and finished it off with an 86-37 thrashing of Hastings Girls' High in the final in New Plymouth.
"It was a really good week for a team that's worked hard all year," coach Trent Adam said.
"We have always talked about being a good team and not relying on one or two players, so that we can all stay fresh and keep up the tempo of the game. That's pretty hard for other teams to deal with."
Hawera High School's girls' team had their playoff for third with Sacred Heart Girls' College comfortably under control, until the final quarter. The young Sacred Heart side came within two points of Hawera, who finally managed to close it out 78-75.
Both teams have qualified for the national secondary schools basketball tournament to be held in Nelson from October 1-5.
It is the first time in at least 15 years that the Hawera side have made the national tournament.
Coach Fraser Linn paid tribute to his three point guards - Kayla Manurirangi, Alicia Manurirangi and Katie Linn.
It was the second close loss in a row for Sacred Heart, after losing their semifinal to Hastings Girls' High School by two points.
"I'm extremely proud of our results with such a young team," coach Matt Cursons said.
Eight of his 12-strong squad are juniors, including four from year 9. "We played well above the level we have played at before."
New Plymouth Boys' High School comfortably beat Hastings in the playoff for third, winning 71-46.
Captain Lachlan Fenwick had another strong game with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Jordan Harries and 15-year-old Dane Brooks both scored double doubles - Harries with 17 points and 13 rebounds and Brooks with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The boys' final was won by Hutt Valley High School over St Patrick's College 87-61. The St Pat's team were missing several key players, including the dominant Tom Vodanovich.
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