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Last year’s finalists have got off to strong starts in the Dunedin women’s club competition.
Ajax and the South Pac Magic claimed big opening round wins on Tuesday night at the Edgar Centre.
Both ran up big scores, while holding their opponents to under 50 points.
Ajax made use of a 21-5 first quarter to beat Varsity 85-42. Guards Nicole Ruske and Olivia O’Neill combined for 15 of those.
Varsity got its score ticking over in the second quarter, but the difference was always too much to haul in. It went to halftime down 43-20, before Ajax extended that to 64-33 heading into the final break.
Ajax showed its range of threats in having five players score in double-figures.
Hannah Matehaere led the way with 20 points, while Kate Edwards had 16, Natalie Smith finished with 13 and Ruske and O’Neill chipped in with 12 each.
Meanwhile, the South Pac Magic also got off to a fast start in its 90-45 win over a young Andy Bay Kavanagh team.
Dayna Turnbull scored 16 points in the first quarter as the Magic shot out to a 30-9 lead early. It kept that going into the second and held a 56-17 lead at halftime, extending that to 73-30 at the end of the third.
Turnbull finished as the leading scorer with 27 points, while Otago Gold Rush import Dana Goularte chipped in with 16.
For Kavanagh, New Zealand under-15 duo Annabelle Ring and Anita Samasoni led the way with 19 and 14 points respectively.