Hillcrest had six teams head away for their respective tournaments this year, 3 football teams, 2 basketball teams and a netball team.
Our girls premier team travelled all the way across Hamilton to Minogue Park for their Upper North Island tournament and began in great fashion by winning 5 of their first 6 games to ensure a top 8 finish. Unfortunately both illness and injury had an impact on the team in key positions and they weren’t able to pick up a win in their last 4 games and finished in 8th place. I know the girls will be disappointed with this result but with such a young team there are a lot of positives to take and build on for next year. A huge thankyou to coach Irene, both Miss Crombie’s and also Miss Telfer and Polly for all their hard work and support.
Our junior premier boys footballers took part in the Hillsdene tournament in Tauranga and were drawn in a tough pool against a lot of big boys schools including Napier BHS, New Plymouth BHS and Hastings BHS.
Despite some tough games the boys competed and picked up a couple of wins against St Peters and Lytton. The highlight would surely be the game against Lytton where the boys held their nerve to win on penalties after a couple of great saves from goalkeeper James Black. The boys finished 18th out of 24 teams. We thank coach Jarrod, manager Cellina and also Mr Hall for accompanying the boys for the week.
The boys First XI started their Malcolm Cowie tournament in Auckland really positively with two wins against Birkenhead and Avondale to ensure a top 16 finish. Unfortunately they dropped the next 4 games including a penalty shootout against Ormiston but were able to win their final game to finish in 15th place out of 32 teams, one place better than 2022. A big thanks to coaches Kaye and Mr Ashby and manager Carolyn for their contribution towards the team.
The girls First XI travelled to Taupo for their Premier NZ tournament and began with a 3-3 draw against Otumoetai. After losing a tough game against last year’s champions Epsom Girls, they will probably regret their performance against Onslow and missing out on the top 16. However , they bounced back well with wins against Tauranga Girls and Rototuna and finished with a 6-1 thrashing of the Onslow team they lost to in pool play. In the end, they can still be proud of finishing 19th in NZ. Thankyou to coach Greg and manager Lee for all their work throughout the tournament.
Our junior boys ventured to Rotorua and after a slow start against Mt Maunganui they put together some much better performances picking up wins against St Pauls and John Paul College. In the end, and despite half the team coming down with illness, they finished in 11th place and showed some great skill and game awareness that will springboard them into next season.
Our senior premier boys team also travelled to Rotorua and picked up two good wins in pool play against Western Heights and St Peters to finish third in their pool. After dropping the next game against Whakatane they finished with two extremely close wins over St Pauls and Howick to finish the tournament in 13th place.
Thankyou to coaches Tama and Hemi and managers Rebekah, Michelle and Melissa for preparing and guiding the boys through the tournament.
In summary, this year was probably a case of missed opportunities and a bit of inconsistency. It is clear that we have a lot of talent in our teams but unfortunately we were unable to consistently put together the performances that we would have hoped for. I am sure that this will be a focus for coaches and players in 2024.