Koehler inspirational as Varsity finally gets one back on South Pac Magic

Elly Koehler needed an ugly one to get going.

The Varsity guard pulled up and let her shot fly from deep on the mid-range wing, the scoreboard showing 12-2 as the South Pac Magic had run riot in the early exchanges.

It banked high off the glass and into the hoop, cutting the double-digit deficit back immediately.

If that was an ugly start, the rest of her 22-point haul was anything but.

She shredded the Magic’s zone with her outside shooting, propelling the students on a 16-2 run to finish the first quarter.

That ultimately took them to a 61-46 victory in Dunedin women’s club basketball on Tuesday night.

The result snapped a five-game losing streak to the Magic for Varsity, dating back to the first round of 2020.

South Pac fought back again after Varsity’s strong finish to the quarter, bigs Lisa Wallbutton and Fay Fualau (10 points) generating offence inside.

They took the lead back, before full-court pressure from Varsity led to back-to-back baskets to Petra Sparks (nine points).

The game remained tight through the middle and it was back-to-back three-pointers from Koehler that helped Varsity gain separation.

Sereana Rokotakala (21 points) did her best to keep the score ticking over for the Magic, but it was not enough to hold off the Varsity onslaught.

Koehler hit another three-pointer, taking her match total to five, while three baskets to Holly McCleery helped Varsity pull away down the stretch.

Nicole Ruske had six three-pointers and posted 31 points, while Hannah Beede had 18, in a 70-35 win for Ajax over Andy Bay Falcons Rua.

Ryan Dailey had 23 points for the Andy Bay Falcons Tahi in a 74-46 win over Varsity Gold.

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