• HBHS footballers and basketballers have plenty to celebrate

HBHS footballers and basketballers have plenty to celebrate

September has been a memorable month for Hastings Boys' High School's 1st XI football team and junior basketball team.

Less than a fortnight after the Kareem Johnson-Kaleb Edwards-coached junior basketball team were crowned inaugural Super 8 champions in Hamilton the Grant Hastings-coached 1st XI football side won the Hawke's Bay Secondary Schools Senior Division One Championship for the first time in more than a decade on September 12.

The football lads beat St John's College in their final. The victory was a testament to the hard work these young men put into the season, and the planning and preparation of coach Hastings. 

All of these players have come through the school's Academy Development System and play for the school and the badge they were with pride. In addition to the division one title the 1st XI have won the Dean Ronberg Challenge Shield with a game in hand beating Napier Boys' High School 4-1 away, are the current holders of the Knockout Cup and are also the HBSS futsal champions.

The long-awaited Junior Basketball Super 8 Championship tournament was played in Hamilton during the first week of September. The HBHS Junior A team had a great build up to the tournament playing in Hawke's Bay's senior one division alongside many of the other school's senior A teams.

On the first day of the championship HBHS met their well-known rivals, Napier Boys’ High School. A strong defensive effort by Ezrah Eagle and a slick offensive display from Ihaia Abbott saw Hastings Boys’ grind out an eventual win over a gutsy Napier Boys’ side. 

This saw Hastings meet the hometown favourites, Hamilton, who had enjoyed a last second buzzer beater win over New Plymouth earlier in the day. Hamilton started strongly and led for most of the match, showing that they meant business. 

Hastings went into the last quarter down by nine and managed to do the unthinkable, coming from behind to win the match and upset the home side. The dynamic duo of Kaden Makea and Zoram Smiler proving too much for the Hamilton juniors to handle.

On day two HBHS were faced with a strong challenge from the New Plymouth juniors who came out with nothing to lose. They threw everything they had at the Hastings side but with the continued dominance of Eagle in the paint and a frenzy of points scored by guard, Tyrese Ngarangione-Wicks, Hastings secured their third pool play victory to finish first in their pool. 

Hastings met Palmerston North Boys' High School in the semifinals. A commanding performance from Smiler with and without the ball along with the scoring power of captain, Kahuranaki Treacher were key factors in Hastings securing their final berth. 

Against hosts Hamilton in the final, Hastings, produced relentless defensive pressure and slick offensive challenges to take a convincing lead from the first quarter. Outstanding performances from Makea and Abbott left Hamilton searching for answers.