Rosmini College are the new national secondary schools boys’ basketball champions.
Rosmini beat Rangitoto College 87-79 in the boys final at the Arena on Palmerston North on Saturday night, denying Rangitoto a second title in a row.
The two North Shore boys schools had met in two finals earlier in the season with the silverware shared – Rangitoto winning the College Sport Auckland Premier Season and Rosmini the Zone 1 Qualifying Tournament.
But it was Rosmini who won the top prize, repeating its national title success from 2011.
Rangitoto, who beat one of the tournament favourites and last year’s finalists Palmerston North Boys’ High School in the quarterfinal, had the better of the opener to lead 24-20, and after an entertaining half were up 46-45 at the break.
Tournament MVP Mitch Dance led all scorers at halftime with 16 points.
Little separated the teams when Rosmini led 63-61 with a quarter to go.
Dan Fotu peeled off seven straight points to set up an exciting final minute with his team trailing 84-79, but Rangitoto were unable to make any further dent in the deficit.
Rosmini coach Matt Lacey lost in the 2012 final as a player, but was delighted to win the championship in his first season as coach.
“The team have worked hard all season and deserve their success,” Lacey said. “Rangitoto were the benchmark at the start of the season, we have had some great battles with them this season and I’m just grateful we could get the win in such a big game.
“Being denied the win as a player was disappointing, but this more than makes up for it.”
Rosmini College 87 (Mitch Dance 26, Williams-Dunn 17, Will Heather 15, Kruz Perrott-Hunt 13, Terrence Abdon 9) Rangitoto 79 (Dan Fotu 28, Logan McIntosh 15, Zack Te Puni 14, Caleb Langridge 7). HT: 46-45.