FIREBIRDS v MAGIC, Court 1, 9am
FIREBIRDS: Aiken (GS), Wild (GA), Simmons (WA), Ravaillion (C), Simpson (WD), Geitz (GD), McCloud (GK).
MAGIC: Harten (GS), Halpenny (GA), Rasmussen (WA), Tairi (C), Coffin (WD), Price (GD), de Bruin (GK).
The Mission Queensland Firebirds made it back-to-back wins when they opened day 2 of the Summer Shootout with a 32-24 win over the Kia Magic.
Having ended day 1 with their first win of the Pre-Season Tournament over the EasiYo Tactix, the Firebirds bounced away to a bright start on Sunday morning in the clash between last year’s Finalists.
Magic captain Casey Kopua again watched the action from the sidelines as coach Julie Fitzgerald eases her back into action following ankle surgery over the pre-season.
Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke again rotated her four shooters on court with recruits Stephanie Puopolo and Amorette Wild showing they are settling well into the team’s game plans and structure.
An encouraging sign for the season ahead for the Magic has been the performances of youngster Jamie-Lee Price over the weekend in one of the key defensive roles. The 18-year-old has handled some of the league’s top shooters quite well.
The Magic remain winless for the Summer Shootout, with their final match of the weekend against the Northern Mystics at 11am.
HALF-TIME: Firebirds 17, Magic 13.
FULL TIME: Firebirds 32 (Aiken 13/17, Wells 7/8, Puopolo 6/8, Wild 4/5), Magic 24 (Harten 13/16, Halpenny 11/15).
MYSTICS v PULSE, Court 2, 9am
MYSTICS: GS Latu, GA Tutaia, WA Loveday, C Langman, WD Hurley, GD Corletto, GK Tuki
PULSE: GS van Dyk, GA Wilkins, WA Cooper, C Lees, WD Henry, GD Grant, GK Agbeze
In a match which could have mirrored the likes of a Silver Ferns trial, spectators were treated to a highly skilled match between the Northern Mystics and Haier Pulse in the opening match of day two.
With 12 current or former international players from three countries on the court it was the Pulse claimed bragging rights for the next month winning 34-32, with the teams meeting again in Round three of the ANZ Championship in March.
The Mystics shot out to an early lead, applying full-court pressure to disrupt the Pulse’s timing in the initial stages of the match. Mystics shooters were on target all match with Maria Tutaia shooting 15/16 and Cathrine Latu 17/18.
After 15 minutes the Pulse had caught up to level the match 18-18 at halftime thanks to some equally impressive shooting at the opposite end by Irene van Dyk 23/25 and Donna Wilkins 11/13.
The Pulse started the second half with three straight goals and the Mystics found themselves playing catch-up for the first time in the match. Katrina Grant switched to goal keep and spent the second half marking Cathrine Latu. The experienced defensive combination of Grant with Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit worked for the Pulse, holding their second half lead with an overall team effort anchored by Millie Lees in the midcourt.
HALF-TIME: Pulse 18, Mystics 18
FULL TIME: Pulse 34 (van Dyk 23/25, Wilkins 11/13), Mystics 32 (Latu 17/18, Tutaia 15/16)
STEEL v SWIFTS, Court 1, 10am
STEEL: Fowler-Reid (GS), Selby-Rickit (GA), Francois (WA), Finch (C), Frew (WD), Rasmussen (GD), Purvis (GK).
SWIFTS: Thwaites (GS), Pratley (GA), Davies (WA), Hadley (C), McCulloch (WD), Mkoloma (GD), Layton (GK).
The NSW Swifts showcased what scoring power they have in their squad this season in a dominating performance against the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel, winning 42-24.
The Swifts recorded the highest score to date in the Summer Shootout, eclipsing the 34 goals set by the Northern Mystics the previous day, as they continued their unbeaten weekend.
Shooter Caitlin Thwaites helped set up the Swifts victory in the first half before she was replaced by youngster Gretel Tippett at the break. Thwaites shot 18 goals at 100 per cent for the half.
The Swifts rested captain Kimberlee Green for the match, but Tayliah Davies, Paige Hadley and Abbey McCulloch still looked like a slick midcourt combination up against the more experienced Phillipa Finch, Wendy Frew and Shannon Francois.
It was a tough game for the Steel defenders with the Swifts shooting at 89 per cent accuracy for the game. Storm Purvis battled hard against Thwaites before being replaced by Phoenix Karaka for the second half.
The Steel’s final match of the weekend is against the Haier Pulse at 1pm, local time.
HALF-TIME: Swifts 24, Steel 13.
FULL TIME: Swifts 42 (Thwaites 18/18, Pratley 16/16, Tippett 8/13), Steel 24 (Fowler-Reid 20/23, Selby-Rickit 3/7, Bates 1/2).
FEVER v THUNDERBIRDS, Court 2, 10am
FEVER: GS Borrego, GA Bell, WA Waddington, C Beaton, WD Hallinan, GD Bulley, GK Shimmin
THUNDERBIRDS: GS Bassett, GA Medhurst, WA Pitman, C Bolton, WA Brazill, GD Gomes, GK Beckford-Chambers
The West Coast Fever have defeated the Adelaide Thunderbirds in a powerful display of skill and speed by 28 goals to 20.
The Fever had the better of the first half with the Thunderbirds searching for answers on how to stop the high ball going into 1.93 metre tall shooter Caitlin Bassett. At the opposite end, the late exclusion of Carla Borrego due to a minor back problem, meant the talented youngster Cody Lange was handed the goal shooter bib alongside Erin Bell.
The tough Fever defensive proved a challenge for the Thunderbirds who were prevented in executing their game plan.
Leading 15-9 at the halftime break, Fever coach Norma Plummer made wholesale changes rotating the bulk of her squad and with Bassett off the court, the Fever were still two slick with Basset’s replacement Kate Beveridge more than holding her own.
The two teams meet again in Perth in Round Six of the ANZ Championship in what will be one of the matches of the round.
HALF-TIME: Fever 15, Thunderbirds 9
FULL TIME: Fever 28 (Bassett 13/17, Medhurst 7/12, Beveridge 8/11), Thunderbirds 20 (Lange 8/11, Bell 12/18)
VIXENS v TACTIX, Court 1, 11am
VIXENS: Hoare (GS), Caldwell (GA), Strachan (WA), Watson (C), Moloney (WD), Steel (GD), Mentor (GK).
TACTIX: Kumwenda (GS), Fenwick (GA), Grant (WA), Clarke (C), Saunders (WD), Thayer (GD), Walker (GK).
The EasiYo Tactix caused the boilover of the Summer Shootout by beating the Melbourne Vixens 25-21 and ending the host team’s unbeaten record for the Pre-Season Tournament.
In an impressive performance, the Tactix pulled clear of the Vixens in the final few minutes to post their second win of the weekend.
The Tactix’s shooting combination of Mwai Kumwenda and Sophia Fenwick were particularly impressive in the victory.
In a truly international contest, Kumwenda (Malawi) matched up against Geva Mentor (England) all game.
The Tactix have never beaten the Vixens in the regular season and, after this result, the round 5 showdown in Christchurch between these two sides should attract a lot of interest.
The Vixens rested their two leaders Bianca Chatfield and Madison Browne, but the Tactix still looked sharp as they more than matched it with last season’s Preliminary Finalists.
The Tactix’s unheralded defenders Louise Thayer and Zoe Walker didn’t allow the Vixens shooters Erin Hoare, Tegan Caldwell and Catherine Cox – who came on at half-time – to dominate.
Anna Thompson sat out the first half but the Tactix captain worked well with Hayley Saunders and Jade Clarke to ensure her side recorded a morale-boosting victory.
HALF-TIME: Vixens 11, Tactix 10.
FULL TIME: Tactix 25 (Kumwenda 14/20, Fenwick 11/19), Vixens 21 (Cox 8/9, Hoare 7/12, Caldwell 6/8).