The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic remain unbeaten after round two of the ANZ Premiership narrowly beating the Central Pulse 52-50 in Rotorua.
Magic were at full-strength across the court and an inform Grace Rasmussen paired with Ariana Gable-Dixon sending bullet feeds to Lenize Potgeiter gave Magic the dream start, but could not manage to shake a determined Pulse side who stayed within reach and went on to win the first quarter 17-14.
A close game signaled a lift in defense from both sides resulting in turnovers leaving the shooters with the task of finishing opportunities. Although Pulse defending duo Katrina Grant and Phoenix Karaka applied pressure on the Magic shooters, it was the competition’s most formidable defending duo Casey Kopua and Kelly Jury at the other end who solidified their combination to get their team over the line at half-time 29-25.
The third quarter saw the pressure applied to both sides, Tiana Metuarau started in goal attack with the Magic making a total of six changes to combat the Pulse outfit. With Rasmussen moved into goal attack, the Magic now had three key feeders to help out their South African shooter. Sam Sinclair also had more freedom in the midcourt picking up two intercepts and Rasmussen with one of her own ahead at three quarter time 44-39.
The last spell and the Pulse’s composure started to work in their favour, Karaka’s defense under the hoop effecting young Faulkner’s shooting giving them the confidence to surge. Catherine Tuivaiti chose to eject herself from the match late after continuous contact calls, as Kopua and Jury once again showed dominance in the Magic defensive end. Despite Pulse winning the quarter 11 to 8, Magic held onto the win 52-50, with Pulse once again picking up the 1 point bonus.
Waikato BOP Magic 52 def Central Pulse 50
Player of the Match: Lenize Portgeier
Waikato BOP Magic
Portgeier 39/46 85%
Faulkner 13/17 76%
Tuivaiti 23/25 92%
Amaru-Tibble 13/17 76%
Metuara 14/19 74%