U23s & Storm to play for 5th-8th
The Southland Under-23 men and Southland Storm women will both play off for 5th-8th placings at their respective national tournaments after both were beaten in quarter finals this afternoon.
The Storm women who qualified directly after two strong performances on the opening day of the D-League tournament drew the powerhouse Canterbury side in their quarterfinal and despite another gritty performance were beaten 95-62.
Jenn O'Connell lead the scoring for the Storm to finish with 16 with Morgan Hunter adding 12 and Maddie Tinnock 11. The Storm will next play the Waikato Wizards in the 5th-8th Semifinals at 8:00am on Thursday.
Meanwhile the Southland U23 Men dug deep to push Hawke's Bay all the way before eventually going down 94-84.
Southland showed tremendous fight after getting behind by 14 in the first quarter to pull the game back to a six-point game before Hawke's Bay blew the game out again by 20. Southland again dug deep to stay in the fight and a strong finish say the final margin finish at ten.
Coach Connor Coll said he couldn't fault the effort from his charges.
"It was such a good game. Our guys played their heart out and never gave up which is all you can ask as a coach," Coll said.
Tom Cowie was again out of his mind, dropping 42 as the tournament's leading scorer. Coll was full of praise for his point guard.
"I've got no words for TC. He is absolutely the glue of this team. His decision-making and play-making has been outstanding all week. He can get us a bucket when we need it and is playing with great confidence. He's getting to the hoop whenever he wants and had really got our other guys going. He's unselfish and has been giving up good looks to give guys like Ethan (Mitchell) and Campbell (Scott) open looks. I just can't say enough about how impressive he has been," Coll said.
Scott continued his consistent tournament with 20 while Mitchell also contributed 13.
"I'm super proud of the boys but we don't want to finish now. Our job is to push for 5th spot," Coll said.
Southland takes on Northland at 11:30am this morning in their 5th-8th semifinal.