In round three action of the ANZ Premiership a hungry and determined Northern Stars outfit were pipped at the post once again by the Silvermoon Tactix in Christchurch.
The Stars lead for majority of the match only for the Tactix to come roaring home in the final quarter and take the lead with seconds to go, to win 49-48.
Grace Kara dominated the center pass receives for the match in another impressive performance for the captain.
Kara dished off praise to her team mates Holly Fowler and Fa’amu Ioane after the match.
“Holly and Fa’amu are not specialised in the center role and they did a great job there.”
Coach Kiri Wills echoed the praise of her midcourt players.
“Grace had another stand out performance and Holly was feeding the ball like she has been there all her life, and that’s really hard to do for a circle defender.”
“We really trust Mu (Fa’amu) in there and she’s good at her job, she really stood up tonight and didn’t back down after a hard week for her.”
The Stars won the first quarter 12-14. The last time the Stars had won a first quarter was last season in round 11, interestingly also against the Tactix.
Paula Griffin came into the game at goal attack for Ellen Halpenny in the second quarter.
The change saw the Stars establish a six-goal lead five minutes into the quarter as Olivia Coughlin and Ama Agbeze worked hard to shut down the Tactix shooters.
At one point the Stars lead extended out to nine goals, only for the Tactix to make a run in closing out the first half to go to the main break only four goals adrift, 24-28.
The third quarter Ioane and Fowler swapped positions as both teams struggled to take a strong hold on the game.
In the final quarter the Tactix defensive pairing of Jane Watson and Temalisi Fakahokotau looked to limit the supply of ball to Maia Wilson who was carrying the bulk of the Stars shooting.
Two crucial errors from the Stars in the dying moments of the match saw the Tactix capitalise and convert for the win.
Next up for the Northern Stars is the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in their first home game at Pulman Arena, on Sunday May 27th at 4pm.