Visger key as late run helps Magic seal win over Varsity

Natalie Visger
Natalie Visger
The South Pac Magic withstood a comeback.

Then it closed out the game.

A late run helped it edge Varsity 71-66 in women’s club basketball at the Edgar Centre on Tuesday.

Veteran forward Natalie Visger was key for the Magic down the stretch. She scored seven points in a 9-1 late run to help seal the win.

Visger hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 63-63 with under two minutes remaining, before sinking a shot from the high post to take the lead.

A Millie Simpson lay-up followed, before Visger reached the line and sank two free throws to make it 69-64.

Varsity had started strongly.

It pounded inside to Sophie Adams (15 points), who scored eight early points and helped the students establish a 21-13 lead.

But the Magic hung around and two three-pointers to Kylie Maihi (13 points) helped pull it back to 24-19 at the break.

Varsity held its lead until some Magic defensive adjustments, coupled with an injury to Varsity guard Caitlin O’Connell, swung momentum.

The Magic began crashing the boards hard and grabbing offensive rebounds at will, while stalling the Varsity offence.

Lisa Wallbutton (13 points) was influential there, while Georgia Te Au (eight points) hit twice from deep to give the Magic an outside threat.

It took a 38-33 lead to halftime, which it extended to 51-37 midway through the third quarter.

At that point Varsity began to secure rebounds, while at the other end its shots started to fall and it started getting to the line.

Kelly Thompson was influential in coming up with a handful of steals, while Rosie Davison began penetrating from the perimeter.

That helped it reel in the deficit and a three-point play from Adams gave Varsity a 61-60 lead.

But at that point Visger stepped up, stemming the flow and giving the Magic a lead it held to the lead.

It leaves the Magic unbeaten after two rounds, as are the Falcons Dandelions.

They beat the Andy Bay Falcons 74-54, Annabelle Ring and Sereana Rokotakala scoring 18 and 17 points respectively.

Hannah Matehaere led Ajax with 17 points as it claimed a 66-29 win over South Pac OGHS.

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