BY JEFF CHESHIRE
A RAMPANT second quarter set the platform and the rest followed for the Southern Steel, scoring a third comprehensive win in as many games in Invercargill on Monday night.
Steel scored 23 goals in a dominant second quarter to win 73-53 in the ANZ Premiership over Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic after leading 39-28 at halftime.
Magic, boasting two Silver Fern defenders in Kelly Jury and Casey Kopua, was powerless to stop the host team.
Steel was lightning through the midcourt, while the shooters posted an improved 84% 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 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.”
She felt the team was back on track after its upset loss in the first game of the season.
However, she still thought there was plenty of room to grow as she looks for a complete 60-minute performance.