A disappointing final quarter from the Northern Stars saw the visitors fall to the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 51-57 in Hamilton.
The Stars who yesterday beat the defending champions the Southern Steel were ahead at the first two breaks, with the Magic finally taking a one goal lead into the final quarter.
Head coach Kiri Wills rang in the changes at three quarter time, moving Kayla Cullen to goal defence, Leana De Bruin to goal keep, Temepara Bailey to wing attack and Mila Ruelu-Buchanan to center.
The Magic grew in confidence and so did the score line during the final quarter which at one point ballooned out to nine goals.
Northern Stars captain De Bruin credit the defensive effort of Casey Kopua and Kelly Jury in the final period of play.
“We were not as composed as last night in that final quarter, we lost our rhythm and confidence with Casey (Kopua) and Kelly (Jury) doing a great job to disrupt our shooters with their long arms,” said De Bruin.
De Bruin and Storm Purvis had their work cut out by the shorter moving Magic shooting circle of Monica Faulkner and Abigail Latu-Meafou. De Bruin was adamant fatigue wasn’t a factor for her team.
“We are a very fit team so I don’t think it was fatigue, we’ll go back and look at the tape and see what we need to work on.”
The Stars coaches made two changes to the starting seven from yesterday with Kayla Cullen and Charlee Hodges replacing Holly Fowler and Ellen Halpenny.
Hodges enjoyed space to move and confidence on the shot, netting six from six in the first quarter. The Magic defensive trio of Jury, Kopua and Samantha Sinclair quickly worked on shutting her down in the second quarter.
Fowler replaced Cullen at wing defence after half time with Halpenny on at goal attack. The Magic home crowed soon came alive after a serious of turnovers which saw their team take the lead for the first time in the match.
Wilson was once again the main target for Stars feeders Bailey and Ruelu-Buchanan. Wilson finished the match with a 35/41 goal haul.The Northern Stars will next take on the Good Oil Mainland Tactix in the Stars first home game on Wednesday 6th March at Pulman Arena from 7.40pm. Tickets available here