St Hilda’s A edges Physed B in thriller

Phys Ed C wing attack Holly Paterson looks to move the ball past Southern Magpies wing defence...
Phys Ed C wing attack Holly Paterson looks to move the ball past Southern Magpies wing defence Bridie Burns while Phys Ed C goal defence Brooke Johnstone looks on at the Edgar Centre on Saturday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
In the first round of the new-look 2020 season, St Hilda’s A and Physed B, the teams which finished fourth and fifth respectively last year , put on the game of the round, St Hilda’s eventually winning 53-52.

St Hilda’s looked strong going out to a 6-1 lead at the Edgar Centre on Saturday, thanks to a couple of early rebounds from goal defender Brooke Callon.

The attacking end for St Hilda’s showed great patience to work the ball into their shooters, led well by captain Annie Timu at centre.

After a slow start, Physed B brought itself back into the game with a couple of nice pick-ups from centre Mikayla Thorn, assisted by some disruptive tips from goalkeep Anita Van den Beld.

St Hilda’s took a 16-12 lead into the first break.

The second quarter was much the same as the first. St Hilda’s continued to control the match and grow its lead. The St Hilda’s shooting combination of Sofie Bain and Grace Southby looked solid with some nice feeding.

Bain gave a strong hold to get the ball under the hoop, while Southby opened up the circle well and looked comfortable shooting from long range. St Hilda’s led 34-23 at halftime.

Both teams made changes for the start of the third quarter. The changes worked well for Physed B which was able to bring itself back into the game and disrupt the opposition flow.

Zoe Baker moved from goal defence to goalkeep for Physed and really stepped up with her defensive pressure and snaffled multiple rebounds to get her team more ball.

Becky Paterson came alive for Physed in the second half with some pinpoint feeds into her shooters as well as some great defensive pressure through court.

Some miscommunication in the St Hilda’s attacking end with the changes helped Physed go into the final break down by just four goals, 43-39 to St Hilda’s.

St Hilda’s made more changes throughout the court for the final period of play. The final quarter was the lowest scoring of the game with both teams piling on the defensive pressure.

While the defences improved during the game ,so did the attackers as both teams created mini runs of three or so goals until late in the period.

Baker picked up another couple of rebounds and an intercept to bring Physed up to 49-49 with six minutes left.

A held ball for St Hilda’s which Physed converted gave it the lead for the first time in the game. With three minutes left to play St Hilda’s wing defence Danielle Willsman grabbed a great loose ball to bring her team back to level. Another two great pick-ups from Willsman which were converted by Bain at the other end put St Hilda’s across the line in the tight-fought battle, winning by one.

In the other games, College A made easy work of a new-look South Pacific Titans A team 76-30. Defending champion Physed A opened the season with a comfortable 72-41 win over University Albion A, while the Southern Magpies beat Physed C 58-35.

 - Bridget Thayer

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