INDEPENDENT NEWS

Stars Fall Agonizingly Short In Heartbreaker Against Tactix

Published: Tue 28 May 2024 06:11 PM
Trident Homes Tactix defeated the Stars 58-57 in Christchurch
27 May, 2024
The Stars have suffered a heartbreaking 58-57 loss to the Trident Homes Tactix in their ANZ Premiership match in Christchurch.
The Stars made a polished start to the game, producing one of their best opening quarters of the season.
Centre Mila Reuelu-Buchanan made her presence felt on the court, orchestrating some slick play and combining well with shooters Maia Wilson and Monica Falkner, while Emma Thompson at wing attack expertly picked her moments to inject her flair.
The Stars were rewarded for making minimal errors and capitalised on early misjudgement from the Tactix to build a narrow lead.
Holy Fowler in the wing defence bib led the defensive line, working hard to shut down the Tactix's second phase play and making them work hard to score every goal.
The Stars held a 15-14 advantage at quarter time, just the second time they've led after the opening quarter all season.
Their good work continued in the second period, as shooter Amorangi Malesala took to the court for the first time since round one after being out with an ankle injury and looked hungry for work immediately alongside Wilson.
Gina Crampton came on at wing attack which marked her 150th National Netball League match since her debut in 2012 and she used every ounce of experience, making a formidable combination with Reuelu-Buchanan.
Both teams were guilty of letting soft errors creep in, but neither could quite pull away from the other as they traded blows.
Fittingly, both teams went into half-time locked at 29-all, but the Stars were buoyed by a positive showing across the first 30 minutes of play.
The second half started in frantic fashion as both teams came out at pace, trying wrestle momentum and gain the upper hand however possible.
The Stars stayed focused even when they slipped up and were rewarded as they won multiple possessions, epitomized by Reuelu-Buchanan's determination to win the ball back, which saw her snatch back to back intercepts in quick succession as the Stars began to build a lead an kick into gear.
Defensively the Stars remained stoic and relentless with pressure on the Tactix ball helping them stay ahead and take five goal lead into the final quarter, 46-41.
Unfortunately for the Stars their attack lost air when it mattered most, with Tactix defenders Karin Burger and Jane Watson flexing their muscles and capitalizing on any loose play.
The Tactix had momentum swiftly swing their way and with Ellie Bird near-unflappable at the shooting end, made the Stars pay.
The Stars fought valiantly to the very end, but they ran out of time, as the Tactix overturned the five-goal margin to hand the Stars a seventh loss of the campaign.
Despite the result, Reuleu-Buchanan was rewarded for a stellar effort with player of the match honours, nabbing three intercepts and producing 26 goal assists in one of her best performances of the season.
The Stars have a week to recover before hosting the AVIS Magic in a King's Birthday weekend encounter on Monday at the Auckland Netball Centre.
Stars: 57
Trident Homes Tactix: 58

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