Stars shine against Tactix
Showcasing their depth of talent, the Northern Stars added the polish to outclass The Good Oil Tactix 65-46 in Auckland on Wednesday.
Extending their dominance throughout, the Stars had the luxury of giving all 10 players court time, barely missing a beat as they proved a cut above the southerners. The home side proved relentless as they took full toll with a sparkling start and finish.
Talented young Stars goal shoot Maia Wilson continued to impress with her variety, positioning and accuracy under the hoop as she posted 50 goals for the second time this season when finishing with 51 goals from 55 attempts.
In their first game at home this season, the Stars got away to a flying start, at times playing at a frenetic pace to assert their dominance early on before claiming their second win in three outings.
Wilson was an influential presence from the outset, the speed and timing of her midcourters Temepara Bailey and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan delivering a high volume of quality ball to give the Stars all the momentum.
Finding their feet defensively, the Tactix briefly halted the Stars flow before five unanswered goals pushed the home side out to a 16-11 lead after a lively first quarter.
Scoring the first three goals on the resumption set the tone for the Stars during the second stanza. With both ends of the court working with seamless efficiency, the Stars were able to carve a swathe through the midcourt with a classy display of precision and speed on attack.
Captain Leana de Bruin got in on the act at the defensive end with a vintage outing, the 41-year-old defying her years and looking more like a spring chicken with her ability to turn ball over.
With the scoreline mounting against them, the Tactix were forced into change. Temporary replacement player Samon Nathan, and Brooke Leaver made a positional switch and the entrance of Sophia Fenwick from the bench, helped limit the damage.
However, the Stars were able to extend their advantage when stretching out to a 33-24 lead at the main break.
The Tactix produced a more compelling third stanza, slowing the Stars speed on attack while adding greater resistance defensively. The home side, however, showed they were equally adept at playing with patience.
Respective goalkeepers, Storm Purvis, for the Stars, and her opposite Jane Watson picked off bonus intercept ball for their teams but the Tactix did not enjoy the same volume as their opponents.
It was the Stars who prevailed by one goal in an evenly-contested third stanza to retain a healthy 46-36 lead at the final turn.