The Northern Stars put on a brilliant team effort across all areas of the court to dominate the Northern Mystics 64-50 at Trusts Arena on Super Sunday.
The win also secured the Stars the Barfoot and Thompson Northern Challenge trophy after winning their round 3 match 55-49.
Following a bruising encounter against the Magic last week, the Stars raced out to an 8-goal lead before the Mystics managed to score their first goal after six minutes of play.
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan continued her impressive form at wing attack she and center Temepara Bailey worked tirelessly to feed shooters Maia Wilson and Ellen Halpenny quality ball.
Mystics started young school girl Grace Nweke at goal shoot following her impressive performances off the bench in recent rounds.
Captain Leana De Bruin and Storm Purvis worked overtime to double team Nweke and leave Bailey Mes open to shoot. The tactic worked as the Stars built a 19-10 first quarter lead.
Kayla Cullen replaced Holly Fowler at wing defence during the second quarter and picked up a turnover straight away, but it was the Mystics who came out firing as they closed the gap to 5 goals.
The Stars kept their cool as the Mystics kept hunting them down and pushed the lead back out to nine goals and head to the changing rooms 35-26 up at half time.
Head coach Kiri Wills called in a number of changes at half time with Charlee Hodges replacing Halpenny at goal attack and switching Purvis and De Bruin around to try and combat the impact of Nweke.
Hodges seamlessly slipped into the attacking line up and wasn’t afraid to put up shots from distance as the Stars pushed their lead out to 49-38 with one quarter remaining.
With the Stars back on court in three days’ time against competition leaders TWOA Central Pulse, Wills decided to clean out her bench and bring on Kate Burley at wing defence and Nadia Loveday at wing attack.
“Nadia has been playing really well in the Beko League and we are rewarding her for that, I’m also mindful of the player load with three games in seven days,” said Wills.
Purvis turned out an MVP performance with 1 intercept, 3 deflections and 4 rebounds to her credit.
“I’m really enjoying my netball right now, it’s been three years since I’ve played week in and week out following injuries,” said Purvis.
Purvis added, “we’ve got a great line up this year, the building phase is out the window, we are here to win.”
The Northern Stars will face the TWOR Central Pulse this Wednesday at Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua from 7.40pm.
The Northern Stars next home game is against the Splice Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic on Monday 8th April at Pulman Arena from 7.40pm. Tickets available here