In a game that had plenty of momentum swings and lead changes, the Mainland Tactix kept their ANZ Premiership finals hopes alive, taking the win from the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, 49-47.
Despite a disrupted pre-match day where flights were cancelled at the last minute, the Tactix were ready and roaring, coming out of the blocks with a fast and early 8-4 advantage.
However, that didn’t last long as the Magic finished strongly, proving patience is the key to getting back in the game and someone stepping up to take the shots in the goal circle. Cue Caitlin Bassett.
At the other end of the court, a string of players proved their worth for the Magic.
Young defender Georgia Tong covered Te Paea Selby-Rickit well and, with great ball movement created some energy and spark within the side.
Erena Mikaere backed this up with an amazing intercept at the end of the first quarter to help her team go into the quarter break with a 14-12 lead.
During the quarter time break, Tactix coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek replaced Samon Nathan with Erikana Pedersen, which had the desired impact within seconds of the second quarter.
Pedersen was a playmaker for the Tactix, accurately deciding when to play short and sharp into Selby-Rickit and when to go high into Elly Bird.
This turned the Tactix two-goal deficit into a three-goal lead.
Following the Tactix’s charge, the Magic decided to bring Temalisi Fakahoukotau into Goal Keeper and move Mikaere into Goal Defence, giving the Tactix something to think about and with these changes, the momentum shifted again in the Magic’s favour.
After the momentum kept going back and forth and knowing what this game meant, the Tactix went into the half-time break with a 26-24 lead, determined to provide the fight and energy in the second half.
Coming out of the main break, the Magic caused headaches for the Tactix, with skipper Sam Winders stepping up for her team, they showed more fight and determination than in the first half and surprised many viewers with their on-point connections.
One of those connections was found in Khiarna Williams and Caitlin won that quarter by four goals 15-11.
However, the string started to come loose when Grace Kara came off in the fourth quarter with a pretty nasty looking injury.
Kara did return to the court, but the momentum had already swung in the way of the Tactix.
With the Tactix unravelling again, it was nice to see Amelia Walmsley come on into GS and steady the ship for the Tactix going into the third-quarter break two down, 37-39.
During the interval, Delaney-Hoshek provided some much-needed wisdom to her team, and once again, everything was on the line.
In the final quarter, after plenty more momentum swings, it was the defenders who were composed and collected who help take the win.
Karin Burger and Jane Watson had a blinder of a game, getting back plenty of ball and causing havoc for the Magic attacking line.
With no surprise after their momentous finish, Karin Burger walked away with her third MVP in three weeks.
Categories: ANZ Premiership