After a 64 to 61 win over the Northern Stars, the Waikato Bay Of Plenty Magic's four game winning streak pushes them into third position
After a slow start to the season, Magic have slotted a fourth straight win in their outing against the Stars while demonstrating their resilience and ability to absorb and deliver.
Right in the contest until the final few minutes, it was a familiar story for the Stars who so far have proved the hard luck team of the competition after posting their fifth bonus point loss of the season to remain winless.
Magic shooter Lenize Potgieter proved the difference, the South African import impressing with her volume while slotting a cool 47 from 52 at 90 percent. At the other end, youngster Maia Wilson was not far behind for the Stars with 37 from 40.
Keen to retain their winning momentum, Magic stuck with a settled combinations of recent weeks while the Stars tinkered with their options.
Former Mainland Tactix captain and injury cover Anna Thompson picked up the centre bib in her 150th match at national league level, while youngsters Holly Fowler and Kate Burley paired up in defence.
With the Stars taking time to establish connections, Magic led early 8-2 in the opening five minutes. With the greater share of possession, Magic continued to hold the advantage through the attacking strength of Potgieter and Silver Fern centre Samantha Sinclair.
Picking up more ball, the Stars made their presence felt with a strong finish to leave the hosts with a 16-13 lead at the first break.
The intensity picked up when the Stars levelled the score within minutes. Stars wing defence Fa'amu Ioane added to a solid defensive wall as the visitors cut down the Magic's attacking options.
As both team struggled to find rhythm, a telling seven-goal unanswered streak to the Magic heading to the main break helped to hold their three-goal buffer when they led 32-29.
The Stars remained well in the contest but Magic were efficient at punishing any lapses from their opponents while taking advantage of their slight edge in possession.
Happy to grind it out, Magic held their own while withstanding a strong challenge from the Stars to take a 49-45 lead into the last break.