The North Canterbury Premier Men’s basketball side suffered a tough fought defeat, 63-71 at the hands of Pioneer over the weekend. Bede Marsters scored 15 points for the North Canterbury side, with Jordyn Kauta chipping in 12. Some of the women’s grades also began, with the North Canterbury U21 women going down 49-70 to StAC. StAC always had the upper hand, but the North Canterbury girls worked hard throughout the game trying to stay in touch. The Rangiora High U18 women started a little slowly but found their rhythm to defeat Pioneer Cashmere High 70-65. In the midweek Whelan Trophy division one secondary school girl’s competition, Rangiora High took out a 59-38 win over Rangi Ruru. In division two, Kaiapoi High powered away to defeat Riccarton 100-45. And the Rangiora New Life girls also scraped home with a tightly contested 50-49 win over Burnside. In the division one Thomson Trophy boy’s competition, Rangiora High were defeated 53-99 by St Bedes, and in division two, Kaiapoi High were beaten 59-69 by Cathedral College. The Rangiora New Life team play Papanui on Thursday. The Canterbury Rams also started their National Basketball League campaign against the Auckland Huskies. The Rams took the match comfortably 102-70. Former Rangiora High School player, Jack Exeter, was in the Rams line up scoring 13 points. Another North Canterbury basketball representative, Mason Whittaker is also in the squad.