Two in row for St Hilda’s

The St Hilda’s Collegiate School senior A team  of (back row, from left) Georgia Hay, Laura...
The St Hilda’s Collegiate School senior A team of (back row, from left) Georgia Hay, Laura Taylor, Mara McCurdy, Megan Borst, Georgia Heffernan, Mariah Nelson and Kate Heffernan and (front row) Beryn Abbott, Phoebe Auburn, Meg Timu, Mikayla Thorn and Millie Scully with the South Island secondary school netball trophy in Christchurch yesterday. Photos: supplied.
A dominant second quarter has enabled St Hilda’s Collegiate to win back-to-back South Island secondary school netball titles.

The team outscored St Andrew’s College 16-7 in that period, to help it on the way to a 38-33 win in yesterday’s final.

Lana Morrison.
Lana Morrison.
It proved to be the key quarter in the game, as St Hilda’s took a 24-13 lead to halftime, a difference too much for the Christchurch school to overcome.

"That was our really dominant [period], we strangled them really in the midcourt," St Hilda’s coach Lana Morrison said.

"We had a really tight midcourt and they had a really tall goal shoot.

"So we just decided we won’t let the ball get close enough to her.

"We really pressed that middle and got the dominance."

St Andrew’s had fought back through the third quarter, reducing the scoreline to 31-24, but St Hilda’s weathered the storm.

Morrison said it had been a good game and was proud of how her team held on.It had been particularly impressive as the team was backing up from a tough 27-23 semifinal win over St Margaret’s College that morning.

"It was tight and there was a lot of turnover ball, as there can be in the final.

"But we held and the girls, full credit to them.

"The crowd was pretty Christchurch dominated and, as you can imagine, it was pretty loud.

"And our girls held their nerve, which I was very proud of, that fight. They got some good ball. It was good, very satisfying."

Goal attack Georgia Heffernan had a strong game, as had  twin sister Kate in the midcourt, along with Meg Timu.

Morrison said defender Mara McCurdy had been exceptional against a much taller goal shoot.

"She had a good head on her [in height] and her footwork was amazing, just to confuse the pass in and that put the doubt in the minds of St Andrew’s."

The team was thrilled to have won and, for the older players, winning a second title in as many years made it all the more special.

"For the girls that were here last year it’s quite special going back to back.

"For the ones who are going to be here in the future, it’s building that legacy of netball.

"We’re here for the long haul. We want to be in that top South Island bracket.

"Back to back is pretty special, though."

The team will now go to Rotorua for the national championships during the school holidays when Morrison said the team had some "unfinished business".

Columba College was beaten 40-28 in its semifinal by St Andrew’s, before  going down 37-32 against St Margaret’s to finish fourth.

Waitaki Girls’ High School finished eighth, losing its final game 38-28 to Southland Girls’ High School, while Taieri College finished 12th.

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