The Northern Stars turned out an impressive performance to beat The Good Oil Tactix 65-46 in South Auckland tonight to complete round 2 of the ANZ Premiership.
The Stars dedicated their win to their manager Dee Leggat whose mother Monica Leggat, a stalwart of netball in New Zealand, passed away in Hamilton.
Wearing black arm bands as a tribute to the Leggat family, the Stars came out firing in the first quarter.
Coach Kiri Wills started with the defensive combination of captain Leana De Bruin, Storm Purvis and Kayla Cullen, who created turnover opportunities for their team.
The Stars midcourt combination of Temepara Bailey and Mila Ruelu-Buchanan enjoyed space to move and feed shooters Maia Wilson and Ellen Halpenny with ease at times.
The Tactix suffered a setback this week after losing midcourter Erikana Pedersen to injury.
Taxtic coaching staff bought in former Northern Mystics player Samon Nathan as injury cover yesterday.
Wilson was once again a pillar for the Stars under the hoop helping the home side establish a healthy 33-24 half time lead.
The Tactix tightened their defence in the third quarter, prompting Wills to make changes before the final break, bringing on Holly Fowler for Cullen and Charlee Hodges for Halpenny.
In the final quarter Wills introduced Kate Burley into the match at goal keep which gave the entire team court time.
The Stars lost no momentum with the wholesale changes, powering home to win by 19 goals, their biggest winning margin since the competition started in 2017.
Player of the match De Bruin paid tribute to her defensive partner Purvis.
“Her (Purvis) and I have built those invisible threads where we know where each other is, we’ve also been working hard on our switches, she works hard at the back so I can come through for tips and intercepts,” said De Bruin.
De Bruin also added, “we were disappointed losing the Magic game last week, we went away and worked hard, we’re not perfect yet, but there’s plenty more to come from the Stars.”
Wilson was again the leading scorer from both teams, shooting 51/55 attempts for a 93% accuracy rate.The Northern Stars will next take on the Northern Mystics in the first Barfoot and Thompson Challenge match on Wednesday 13th March at Pulman Arena from 7.40pm. Tickets available here