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Dallas Hartmann could not be stopped as he attacked relentlessly from start to finish.
The Mid City Magic guard had 32 points, getting to the hoop essentially whenever he wanted to propel his team to a 93-77 win over the Andy Bay Falcons.
It left the defending champion clear in second place — behind the unbeaten St Kilda Saints — with a 5-1 record as Dunedin men’s club basketball’s first round concluded on Saturday.
The Magic gained its separation late in the second quarter, as Hartmann and Otago Nuggets guard Joe Ahie took control of the game.
It had led 33-29 midway through the quarter, extending that to 49-36 at halftime in what was the key period of the game.
Hartmann scored 14 second-quarter points, including a run of 12 in a row for the Magic as it pulled away.
He attacked aggressively to get to the hoop and find his way to the line, while Ahie was similarly influential in the pick and roll earlier in the quarter.
However, the Falcons did not let them pull away as Matt Brien (24 points) and Sam Senior (17 points) helped them reduce the margin back to eight points.
But Ahie and Josh Reeves (21 points) began to hit again for the Magic, which also took control of the boards, extending the lead to 72-55 at the final break.
Emerson Watson (nine points) hit two three-pointers, while Brien added one of his own to reduce the lead to nine down the stretch.
But Magic forward Nathan Hanna had his best stretch of the game late, helping stem a late comeback from the Falcons.
In the late game the St Kilda Saints thrashed the St Kilda Bullets 99-60, leaving the Saints unbeaten and the Bullets desperately needing a first win — four of their six losses being by 20 or more.
The Saints jumped out to a 27-6 lead, a margin which gradually grew as the game progressed.
Saints forward Lawson Morris-Whyte continued his impressive season with a 30-point display, while guard Tyler Lapham added 23.
Ethan Martin had 20 points for the Bullets.
The City Rise Bombers beat Varsity by default in the other game of the round.
There are no games next weekend due to Matariki.