In their first home game of the season, the Northern Stars were pushed to the end before beating a tough Mainland Tactix 56-48 in Auckland last night.
It took most of the match for the hosts to subdue the stubborn Tactics, who repeatedly rebuffed playfully to keep the match well and truly alive. The result completed a clean sweep for the Stars from their three games with the Tactix this season.
After playing just four days ago, the Tactix recovered from a 12-goal defeat in that case to create a more exciting performance in the final game, but the Stars more consistency and a few key steals from impressive defender Elle Temu proved the difference.
Near all the way, the Stars kept their balance to deliver a dominant last quarter that sealed the deal, with shooter Maia Wilson rising throughout the game and making a strong exit under the hoop with 31 rebounds. from 34.
With a host of additional games to play, the Stars and Tactix completed their reprogrammed clash in Round 4 with a full-strength roster.
Jamie Hume started with a goal attack for the Stars after reducing the minutes of last week, while the return of the dynamic midfielder and captain Kimiora Poi, made the difference in a strong start by the Tactix.
Poi’s constant efforts provided almost seamless links through the field for the visitors, with the only drawback being the costly wrong final passes before they were installed in a groove. The Tactix forwards, with Ellie Bird and Te Paea Selby-Rickit showing good contact with their strong connection under the hoop, overcame the well-recognized Stars defense and led 14-13 in the first half.
Hume opened his place for the playful Amorangi Malesala in the restart, the injection having a direct impact with fellow sniper Wilson lifting her game as a result.
The Stars rushed to level with the lead changing hands a few more times before the hosts pushed forward.
Both teams combined impressive passes with untimely errors, but the defensive pressure created by the trio of hosts Anna Harrison, Elle Temu and Kayla Johnson caused enough upset to upset the Tactix shooting duo.
At the other end, Karin Burger and Kelera Nawai-Caucau did their job as spoilers for Tactix, but a series of handling mistakes cost the hosts, helping the Stars take a small 29-27 lead in the main break.
With the game hanging in the balance, both teams made productive starts in the third round in a goal-to-goal deadlock.
Midfield stars Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Gina Crampton have consistently produced strong driving games to provide good service to Wilson, while Tactix have not been helped by a lack of ball control. The upheavals that ensued helped the Stars take a five-goal lead and seemingly control.
As the Stars established themselves in their reversals, the Tactix had challenges in the attacking third with their options to pass against a well-connected defensive line and it seemed that the tide had changed the way of the home team.
However, in the ever-changing nature of the game, the stars had their own oscillations, allowing Tactix to bounce and equalize the score.
Two late overturns by Temu gave the Stars a 40-38 lead in the final corner, leaving the score still open.
Shooting Stats – Stars:
Maia Wilson 31/34 (91%)
Jamie Hume 17/24 (71%)
Amorangi Malesala 8/12 (67%)
Shooting statistics – Tactix:
Ellie Bird 21/24 (88%)
Te Paea Selby-Rickit 17/21 (81%)
Hannah Glen 10/11 (91%)
Northern Stars bypass the Mainland Tactix
Source link Northern Stars bypass the Mainland Tactix