Four New Plymouth Girls' High School students are national champions following their unbeaten run at the inaugural New Zealand Secondary Schoolgirls' 3x3 basketball championships in Auckland last week.
The team of Connie Poletti, Bailey Martin, Kayla Manuirangi and Bayley Ransfield played 15 games over four days at the Waitakere Trust Stadium to win the title.
The New Plymouth school beat Auckland's Westlake Girls' 20-10 in their semifinal before beating Cambridge's St Peter's High School, 9-6, in a tight and exciting final.
All four girls are members of their school's first five basketball team.
Basketball's 3x3 is a new concept on the NZSS sporting programme and is played on a half- court by a team of three over 12 minutes with a rolling sub.
NPGHS basketball coach Trent Adam said the game is very physical and played at a hectic pace.
"They [NPGHS] were the only unbeaten team at the tournament as the winner of boys' section lost three games prior to winning their final," he said.
"It was fun," said captain Bailey Martin. And how did you celebrate? " We were too tired. After the prizegiving we just went to sleep in the car stuck in Auckland traffic on our way back home."
Adam said the national under-18 women's coach attended the competition.
"She was suitably impressed by the skills the [New Plymouth] girls showcased and the talent they have," he said.
"She will be selecting a team to go to the World Youth Olympics at Nanjing in the Peoples Republic of China later this year.
Adam said the team's success last week was not unexpected. "They are a pretty talented group of girls and before the competition I knew if they played well they would do well," he said.
On the radar for the winning quartet now is a second national title this time as part of a first five basketball team.
- Taranaki Daily News
Is this the best summer ever?Related story: Wellington sizzles in January heat