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Tuesday October 3 2017


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Cashmere trio hope to net illusive title •Connor McLaughlin: 17, 182cm, point-guard, 126 games.

SPORTS „„ By Andrew King CASHMERE High basketballers Connor McLaughlin, Mitch Mahon and Ruben Stanley have one last opportunity to bring a national title home for their school. The year 13 trio will finish their studies at the end of the year after playing more than 350 games between them in the school’s top team and having played with each other since year 7. But before they do, they want to come back from Palmerston North with the AA National Championship, an accolade they have never won. Last year they placed 20th. Before the tournament, Stanley had played 119 games, Mahon 121 and McLaughlin 126 since their inclusion in 2014. Said Stanley: “We want to leave something behind and it would be great if it was a national title.” Mahon, who captains the side, said it felt like “the end of an era” but they are pretty excited to have a crack at winning the national championship. McLaughlin said it was definitely a step up from the South Island champs. “It is faster and more athletic. Everything is harder I guess.

•Mitch Mahon: 18, 188cm, power-forward, 121 games. •Ruben Stanley: 18, 195cm, small-forward, 119 games.

EXPERIENCE: Mitch Mahon (left), Ruben Stanley and Connor McLaughlin played more than 350 games for the top Cashmere team. PHOTO: GORDON FINDLATER ​ There are more games over a quicker period of time,” he said. They are in pool B which includes host school Palmerston North Boys’ High, Wellington College, New Plymouth Boys’ High, Kelston Boys’ High and fierce local rivals Christ’s College. “Cashmere, Christ’s has been a

big rivalry. We beat them for the Thompson Trophy this year and [then] they beat us at the South Islands, the difference is we build teams and they buy them,” Stanley said. “It is the biggest game,” McLaughlin said. The team culture has changed since they first entered the locker

room as young players. “It was very different,” Stanley said. “The team culture wasn’t great, there were a lot of senior cards being played.” Said Mahon: “Now everyone is on the same page, we are all equals.” Basketball is a big part of the Rose St school. The boys feel

the pressure from within to do well at nationals, but outside the school gate, it is a different story. “Outside we are known as the underdog, so that takes some pressure off. It helps us play with a bit of chip on our shoulder,” Stanley said. Coach Ben Sheat, who is also moving on from the school after 10 years coaching and four years as a PE teacher, said they have been very positive role models for the younger players. They [McLaughlin, Mahon and Stanley] have been tough on them in a positive way. It has been pretty awesome and helped build the culture we have now,” Sheat said. Cashmere started the tournament off yesterday with a 79-68 loss against rivals Christ’s in their opening game. Today they take on Wellington at 4pm, tomorrow they play Kelston at 9am and New Plymouth at 4pm, before the knockout stages on Thursday.

Young footballer takes out top striker award „„ By Andrew King CASHMERE HIGH’S Lyle Matthysen scored two accolades at the Mainland Football awards. The 19-year-old was crowned top striker and youth player at the awards held Sixty6 on Peterborough on September 22. It was the second time the South African-born Matthysen has won the youth award, putting a cherry on top of a great season for Cashmere High’s first XI and Cashmere Technical.

“Winning the striker of the year was an unbelievable moment in my career. Only being 19 years-old and winning the striker of the year is great,” he said. He was also named Cashmere Tech’s youth player of the year for the second year in a row, players’ player of the year and support player of the year at the club’s awards on September 23. He recently signed with Tasman United, instead of Canterbury United, in an effort to get more top-level game time.

‘Winning the striker of the year was an unbelievable moment in my career’ – Lyle Matthysen

However, a knee injury has kept him off the pitch until last week. He flew to Nelson on Thursday to start training with the side. “I wouldn’t have been able to achieve all this without the help of my parents,” he said.

“They have given everything this year and have motivated me to do well each game. Also to my teammates and coaching staff, I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done,” he said.

GOAL: Cashmere High’s Lyle Matthysen took out Mainland Football’s top youth player and striker awards. PHOTO: CMGSPORT


Thank you to everyone who supported me and the National Party during the election campaign. I look forward to continuing to work hard for you as the National List MP based in the Port Hills. Nuk Korako Authorised by Nuk Korako, 6/950 Ferry Rd, Ferrymead, Christchurch

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