Steel opens tournament with win

A strong second half  enabled  the Southern Steel to make a winning start at the pre-season tournament in Otaki yesterday.

The Steel beat the Northern Stars 63-47, but it took a while for the side to get going.

Taking on a  Stars team which had plenty of experience and some players on the comeback trail, the Steel started slowly.  It led  15-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The Stars then had the better of the second quarter and  led  31-29 at halftime.

But the Steel came out firing in the second half and  dominated the third quarter, scoring 19 goals  to the Stars’  seven.

That trend continued in the final quarter as the team from the south scored 15 goals to nine to run out comfortable a winner.

The Steel started with Jennifer O’Connell and Te Paea Selby-Rickit in the attacking circle while Gina Crampton, Shannon Saunders (nee Francois) and Kate Heffernan filled the midcourt. The defence was made up of Abby Erwood and Te Hunga Selby-Rickit.

Changes were made to the midcourt at halftime.

Kayla Cullen, Leana de Bruin, Storm Purvis and Temepara Bailey all turned out for the Stars.

The Steel will take on the Mystics this afternoon at 4pm and then finish the tournament with a game against the Pulse at 1pm tomorrow.

In other games played yesterday, the Pulse beat the Tactix 64-45 and the Magic beat the Mystics 64-39.

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