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The Southern Steel completed its third comprehensive win in as many games in Invercargill last night. It scored 23 goals in a dominant second quarter on the way to a 73-53 win in the ANZ Premiership over the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic last night.
That helped it to a 39-28 lead at halftime, a margin which continued to grow through the second half.
The Magic, boasting two Silver Ferns defenders in Kelly Jury and Casey Kopua, was powerless to stop the host team.
Through the midcourt the Steel was lightning, while the shooters posted an improved 84% shooting percentage.
Notable in that was the continued improving connection with Lenize Potgieter.
The goal shoot, playing against her old team for the first time, scored a cool 39 goals from 43 attempts in just two and a-half quarters.
She was replaced by Jennifer O'Connell at that point, who added an equally impressive 17 goals out of 18 shots.
At the other end, the Steel defence came up with its share of ball.
Goal defence Abby Erwood was prominent early, while Kendall McMinn added spark at wing defence when introduced at halftime.
Steel coach Reinga Bloxham was happy with the performance, although felt there was still room for improvement.
Navigating the Magic defence was always going to be key and being patient with the ball was important in that aspect.
"I think their defensive duo is very awesome at times. It's very hard to penetrate in there,'' Bloxham said.
"I think in that first quarter we started off with a hiss and a roar and they came back at us and we got a bit wobbly.
"In the second quarter I think the thing that worked for us was we were patient with the ball. We were smart and we didn't allow them to come through for things.
"So I think that's a real credit to the feeders we've got in there.
"Our plan was to not give them too many turnovers.
"I know at times they did, but for most of the time it was well-controlled.''
She felt the team was back on track after its first-up upset loss.
However, she still thought there was plenty of room to grow as she looks for a complete 60-minute performance.
The Steel started well and led by as many as five goals during the first quarter.
However, a late first-quarter run from the Magic tied the score at 15-15, before a Potgieter goal with seconds to go put the Steel up one.
It was in the second quarter that the Steel's superiority emerged.
The defence began coming up with ball but it was what the players did with it that made the difference.
The Steel piled on 23 goals to the Magic's 13, making light work of the Magic's long-armed defence.
At 27-20 the Magic replaced Kelly Jury with Jenna O'Sullivan, but the Steel continued its rampage. Gina Crampton and Shannon Saunders fed the shooters with ease and the score climbed to 39-28 at halftime.
That extended to 54-40 at the end of the third spell, Kendall McMinn adding a spark at wing defence after being introduced at halftime.
The fourth quarter was equally good, as the Steel extended its lead to 20.