Stars take on Northern challenge

By Ruth Smith

The Northern Stars returned to the winner's circle in dramatic fashion after posting a thrilling 53-52 win over near neighbours the Northern Mystics in Auckland yesterday.  The win broke a four-game losing streak for the Stars putting them at third place on the points table.  

It's been a tough streak for the Stars, but Coach Kiri Wills says they're finally getting their groove back.

"We've always been the 'little sister' in this relationship so it's great for us to get up on that," says Wills.

It was a series of highlights for the Stars as they put a stop to their four game losing streak, securing the Northern Challenge Cup, 3-0.

Wills has attributed the progress of her team to strong senior leadership, with Temepara Bailey and Leana de Bruin shining through at their respective ends of the court, offering some priceless experience to the keen and enthusiastic youth in their team.

"Both of those two senior players just need to do their job and then the rest of it will come together.  But, I also think that our young ones are stepping up big time," says Wills.

With the Netball World Cup looming, Wills is backing her contenders.  Shooter Maia Wilson is one she says to look out for.

Kayla Cullen, who has come back from a treacherous injury still has a lot to offer in defence for the national side, says Wills.  

"She's got a lot of competition but she's quite different from the other wing defender they've got."

For now, however, Wills and her Stars are looking to keep their top three spot as they prepare for a tough game against the Tactix on Sunday.