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Magic & JHC claim A Grade titles

Invercargill Magic (Men) and James Hargest College (Women) claimed Southland basketball's A Grade titles on Tuesday night after the final round of games.

Magic put the lid on a perfect season, maintaining it's unbeaten record with a 100-74 Grand Final victory over Rip City, while James Hargest had to rely on a Rogues loss to claim the Women's title on countback after dropping its final round robin game to Razzmatazz 51-46.

Images courtesy of Mark Phillips/Sycamore Print


Magic effectively put the Men's final to bed in the opening ten minutes with an offensive blitz that saw it take a 34-13 lead into the first quarter. However the men in blus went off the boil in the second and to Rip City's credit the ate into the lead to only trail by 14 at the main break. That was, however, as close as Rip City got. Magic ran away with the game in the second half to close out comfortable winners by 26.


Josiah Laracy chose a perfect stage to drop 30 points and he was ably assisted by Hayden Sproat (19), Andrew Wheeler and Dylan Pennicott (15 each).


Tom Cowie did his best to keep Rip City in the game, also finishing with 30 while Jayson Collett caught fire late to end with 17.


Elsewhere in the Men's competition, Kelvin Hotel XMen claimed third place with a win by default over The Turbos, Southland Boys High School took out the B Grade Final, coming from eight points down at halftime to defeat Northeast Ballers 92-77. Cody Stevens (35) and Mack Raines (25) did the damage for the students with Mitchell Robinson (26) and Ethan Mitchell (25) the only Ballers to reach double figures.


MPMW Harleys Whero claimed bragging rights over their Pango mates, earning a deserved first victory of the season 71-53. Jacob Taare top scored with 18 for Pango with Kupa White (14), Taeja Riki (12) and Matthew Andrews (11) also making solid contributions. Braden Cole led the effort for the Pango with 21 with Alama Taula (14) and Ricardo Henry (11) also in the points.


In the final round of the Women's A Grade, James Hargest opened the door for Kelvin Hotel Rogues to potentially claim the title after the students were beaten 51-46 by Razzmatazz. With the scores tied at three quarter time, Razzmatazz closed out the win late, claiming the final quarter 13-8, thanks largely to Tyra Dunn's late run, scoring eight of her side's last nine points. Dunn finished with a game high 23 with Bay-Leigh Johnson adding 12. Maddie Tinnock again led the way for the champs with 18 while Holly Cunliffe dropped 10.


That result meant a Rogues win over Sparks in the late game would earn it the title, but Sparks were never in danger after taking the opening quarter 21-10 they stretched their margin out to 32 by winning every quarter to join James Hargest at the top of the table after the two rounds, but to have to be content with second place after losing both games to the College this season.


The Sparks just had too much firepower for Rogues with Lucy Kean (20), Jenn O'Connell (16) and Morgan Hunter (15) all warming up for the upcoming Southland Storm D-League campaign in style. Bonnie Watt led the Rogues around the court to finish with 18 while Sarah Hamilton also reached double figures with 11 points.


Individual awards saw Ruby Duffy (Sparks) and Tyler Hawke (XMen) earn the Most Improved Player Awards. Jenn O'Connell (Sparks) and Connor Coll (Magic) claimed Fair Play Awards while Hawke and Morgan Hunter (Sparks) claimed the two Point-Scoring titles.


Josiah Laracy's Grand Final effort saw him edge the field to win the Men's MVP while Maddie Tinnock claimed the Women's MVP for her consistent season.


See the photo gallery below for all our 2022 A Grade Prize-winners.


A GRADE WOMEN'S POINTS SCORERS: Full list here


A GRADE MEN'S POINT SCORERS: Full list here


PRIZEGIVING GALLERY - Images by Mark Phillips/Sycamore Print


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