Magic deliver dazzling opening win over Tactix
WBOP Magic showcased their impressive credentials to outclass the Mainland Tactix 71-48 in game two of Super Sunday in the opening round of the ANZ Premiership in Hamilton today.
Undergoing significant changes in the off-season made little difference to the well-drilled Magic, who welcomed inspiring defender Casey Kopua back to fold after a season on the sidelines for the birth of her first child, the home team delivering a stunning second half.
Overcoming a nervous start, shooting import Kadeen Corbin worked into the game impressively to help the Tactix claw back an early deficit and take the lead in an entertaining and high-scoring opening stanza.
The Tactix mobile shooting end, marshalled by stalwart Anna Thompson, making a return to the goal attack position this season, and lively defender Zoe Walker snapping up turnover ball put the early pressure on the home team.
The Magic’s response was decisive, revelling in her team’s speedy transition through court, replacement centre Ariana Cable-Dixon showed pin-point accuracy to get her circle moving. Once in the groove, the new shooting combination of South African import Lenize Potgieter and Monica Falkner were deadly accurate, not missing a shot as the Magic took a 16-14 lead into the first break.
The Magic broke the stalemate of the close contest shortly after the resumption, the home team finding an easy flow through court while the return of captain Kopua, combined with rising young defensive partner Kelly Jury, applied the blow torch under the Tactix hoop.
The Tactix struggled to cope with the Magic’s long-limbed defenders as their shooting went off the boil, the home team pushing out to a 30-24 lead at the main break.
The Magic put their stamp on proceedings with a storming third stanza. A number of changes, including the switch of Grace Rasmussen from wing attack to goal attack, were seamless as the home team moved into overdrive.
A natural playmaker, Rasmussen proved the perfect foil for Potgieter, the elegant shooter’s reputation growing with her every move, and taking until the third quarter to miss her first shot in an impressive first outing which produced a telling return of 54 shots from 58 attempts.
The Tactix had few answers to the Magic’s dazzling ball speed and handling finesse, the home team piling on 24 goals during the stanza to take a commanding 54-35 lead at the last break.