Team Orange and Team Blue will square off to decide the 2017 Southland Sharks Summer League next Thursday after both banked comfortable semifinal wins tonight at ILT Stadium Southland.
Injuries and absences played their part, particularly on a depleted White team which ran into an Orange freight train in the first semifinal.
A banged up White team with a depleted bench faced an onslaught from Orange who rode strong contributions across the floor. Defensively the under-19 White lineup struggled and with all five Orange players on the court being a constant scoring threat, they proved too tough to contain.
Orange led 28-15 at quarter time before adding another 29 in the second to lead by 30 at the main break and coast to a comfortable 101-59 victory.
Luka Williams again proved to be the bright spot for Team White, creating instant offence at will and finishing tough shots at the rim.
In the second semifinal Team Blue and Team Black started very well offensively, combining for 52 first quarter points.
Blue stretched their 4-point lead at quarter time to 18 at the main break and then 20 at three quarter time before Black, to their credit, fought back to bring the lead back to single figures before Blue settled and put the game away, finishing ahead at 87-77 at the final buzzer.
Keegan Irwin and Mac Stodart were again stand-outs for Black. They drew a lot of attention from the opposition but were still able to score the ball well.
Paratene McLeod had a throwback performance. He got hot and broke the game open, pushing Blue out to a big lead, which turned out to be a game-winning one.
It sets up a fitting finale next Thursday with Orange and Blue squaring off in the Final from 7:30pm. Both teams will be looking forward to the match up while the two young combinations of White and Black will clash in the playoff for third from 6:00pm.