Senior boys continue winning streak

Ashburton College’s Kambell Stills (left) and Marc Juntilla contest a rebound during their win over Hornby on Tuesday night.

The Ashburton College senior boys’ basketball side took on Hornby High School in their Thomson Trophy division II competition on Tuesday night and notched up another win, just a day after upsetting the fancied Rangiora High School in a school exchange.

Coach Brian Kerr said it was going to be interesting how the boys backed up from their big effort against Rangiora the previous day, with some sore bodies following that upset win, but Ashburton started off with a zone press in the Canterbury secondary schools’ competition game which created immediate results and they eventually ran away to a 74-45 win.

Hornby were guilty of some loose passing early on, gifting Ashburton some easy baskets.  Whilst they settled down, Ashburton were still able to score relatively easily through their offence and went into the break 26-11 ahead.

The second quarter was a closer affair even though Ashburton had extended the lead after a Fotu Hala blitz, scoring 10 of his 18 game points in a four-minute spell.

However, they dropped off a little with some loose play which allowed Hornby to even things up a bit and Ashburton led 45-27 at half-time.

The final two quarters were mixed as the general play from both sides loosened up a little, meaning the game itself lost a bit of its shape, Kerr said.

“Not that the intensity had waned any, the boys still pressed hard and created turnovers, it was just some of the finishing wasn’t as polished as usual,” Kerr said.

In the end, Ashburton ran out comfortable winners 74-45.

Kerr said Harry Jackson was again dominant on the boards and the ever-consistent Hala also had another good all-round game, leading the scoring with 18 points.

The guard lineup of Marc Juntilla (10 points), Quinn Ritchie (10 points) and Sam Pearce (11 points) were a constant nuisance to the Hornby guards, creating turnovers and then being able to transition from those turnovers to the fast break.

“All the boys hit the scoresheet as well which is always pleasing, however it’s the general all-round game that is the satisfying part,” Kerr said.

“We do a lot of things pretty well, most of the time.  It’s about keeping that consistency going.  Overall, in this game we had some really good stages as well as some flat ones.

“Sometimes our passes weren’t finding the mark and we didn’t finish as good as we can especially on the fast break.

“In saying that the boys were still able to snap themselves out of those lulls and produce some quality basketball.

“The best part was that the College bench got some good minutes which from a coach’s perspective is really important.  They need court time to grow their games so it’s always good when that opportunity arises.”