Tactix secure all-important win over Mystics
Leading from start to finish, the Silvermoon Tactix showcased their credentials as play-off contenders with a quality 50-40 win over the SKYCITY Mystics in Nelson today.
With their defenders usually receiving the plaudits, it was the turn of the Tactix attack line to shine. Two relative rookies at this level in centre Kimiora Poi and 1.96m shooter Ellie Bird produced inspiring efforts for the home team in a major boost to their season.
They were well-supported by wing attack Erikana Pedersen, for her poise in the midcourt, and goal attack Brooke Leaver, who produced a strong off-loading game, her quick releases setting Bird up a treat under the post.
With just a four-day turnaround from their last game, the Mystics struggled from the outset with most facets, having their moments but unable to string consistent phases together.
There were no surprises in the Tactix starting line-up but with Maria Folau unavailable for this game, Jamie Hume got the start at goal attack. There was also a slight reshuffle defensively for the Mystics with the long-limbed Anna Harrison moving to goal defence and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson picking up wing defence.
With plenty resting on this match, it was fast and furious from the outset. The Mystics impressed with their quick transitional play early on, leaving Hume and Bailey Mes finding plenty of space in the circle. Harrison and the in-form Phoenix Karaka made the Tactix shooters work for their keep as the teams’ level-pegged through the opening stanza.
However, it was an ever-improving Tactix who got the important jump late in the piece, a finishing burst of four straight goals handing the home team a 13-11 lead at the first break.
It was more of the same on the resumption, another four goals on the trot pushing the Tactix out to a handy six-goal buffer.
Midcourters Poi and Pedersen led the way, both playing influential roles in the home team’s driving attacking play and pinpoint feeding. Poi was all over the court, the fleet-footed centre also grabbing a number of defensive turnovers with her athletic play.
Showing her continued growth, towering shooter Bird was a rock under the Tactix hoop, hauling in the high bomb while returning a high accuracy rate.
At the other end, the Mystics lost their rhythm on attack after more sustained pressure from the Tactix defenders. The visitors were reduced to just nine goals for the spell as the Tactix went to the main break with a 28-20 lead.
There were positional and personnel changes for the Mystics at the start of the third quarter but retaining their efficiency, purposeful intent and patience, it was the Tactix who pushed out to a 10-goal lead.
In an increasingly defensive outing, turnovers abounded, captain Harrison getting her long arms to plenty as she inspired a late rally from her team. In a low-scoring stanza, the Mystics took advantage of some wobbly Tactix moments, gaining some momentum with the last three goals and reducing the home side’s lead to 38-31 at the last turn.