Kjestrup central to Ajax win

The winning streak seemed to be coming to an end as the game moved into its fourth quarter.

Then Bronwyn Kjestrup took over.

The Ajax forward sparked a late comeback to keep her team’s run alive in the Dunedin women’s club basketball competition on Tuesday night.

She had nine of her 22 points down the stretch, sparking a 16-4 run to close the game.

That run hauled in rival South Pac Magic, Ajax winning the top-of-the-table clash 50-42 after trailing for most of the game.

The Magic had led 31-20 midway through the third quarter.

Its forward duo of Natalie Visger (11 points) and Lisa Wallbutton (nine points) provided a source of points in a typically gritty, low-scoring game between the two powerhouses.

Kjestrup had hit from deep, while Hannah Matehaere (12 points) had also contributed.

But, by and large, Ajax — without the majority of its Southern Hoiho contingent — had struggled to score, until a 12-4 run late in the third quarter reduced that gap to three points.

It pulled to within one as Kjestrup hit a three-pointer from the right-hand slot, and took the lead as she drove middle and hit a turnaround mid-range jumper.

The Magic edged back in front at 42-41, after baskets from Visger and Wallbutton.

But it was the last lead it held, as it was unable to generate any more points down the stretch.

Turnovers plagued the Magic, while Kjestrup and Aleisha Ruske (nine points) closed out the game.

The win extends Ajax’s winning streak to eight games, and snapped the Magic’s streak of four in a row.

In the late game the Andy Bay Falcons Tahi beat the Andy Bay Falcons Rua 89-57.

It remained close through the first quarter, before Tahi opened a comfortable gap.

Tarryn Dickson top-scored with 16 points, while Brittany Richards added 15.

Zoe Melville and Erica Blundell had 12 points each for Rua.

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