Northern Mystics still winless after Northern Stars win

By Rahia Timutimu

The Northern Stars have won their third match in this year’s ANZ Championship, while the Northern Mystics are still trying to get their first win after they lost against the Takanini based side last night 55 – 49.

This was the first game of the three-match Northern Challenge series between the two sides, where the Stars controlled the first three-quarters of the match. Despite a surge from the Mystics in the final stanza, it was a little too late.

It was always going to be a difficult game for the Mystics, playing against a side that contains six current or former Silver Ferns and includes Māori shooter Maia Wilson.

Wilson started strong in the match and showed confidence shooting from different ranges in the shooting circle, helping her team lead at the first break 16 – 8.

At the other end of the court, it was the Stars defenders that also did their part for their team. Former Silver Fern Leana de Bruin and Storm Purvis put pressure on the Mystics' shooters who struggled in the shooting circle, for the Stars to lead by 9 points at halftime.

The Mystics made a change in their shooting circle in the third quarter, injecting 17-year-old goal shooter Grace Nweke into the mix which proved pivotal for the side. Nweke was strong under the hoop and showed great confidence.

But it was Maia Wilson that was the star shooter of the match, shooting at 83% and slotting 40 goals in 48 attempts to help her side win in the end.

There’s no rest for the Mystics as they prepare to take on the Waikato BOP Magic in Auckland, while the Stars play their next match against the Pulse at home in Takanini, who are currently sitting at second on the competition table.