Canterbury Tactix 62
Southern Steel 61
The Canterbury Tactix have snatched a dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Southern Steel, taking the honours 62-61 in their ANZ Championship match in Invercargill tonight.
The Tactix were down by four at the three-quarter break but dominated the final quarter to clinch the South Island derby in the final seconds.
The Steel had lost their previous seven matches, the Tactix their last eight, and it was clear from the outset that both sides wanted this win badly.
It was a strong start from the home side, with an accurate shooting performance from Jodi Brown and Donna Wilkins that saw the Steel up by one at the first quarter break.
By halftime, the home side had increased that lead to four, up 35-31 and was putting on a settled and controlled performance.
Shannon Francois marked her return from an ankle injury with a good start at wing attack, feeding her shooters well and adding a strong midcourt presence.
After halftime though, the Tactix came out fighting. Defender Bessie Manu was picking up plenty of ball and, at the other end of the court, shooters Joanne Harten and Ellen Halpenny were moving nicely, creating some good space and converting their shots with impressive accuracy.
The injection of Adine Wilson into the Steel's midcourt midway through the third quarter took some time to adjust, but the Steel still maintained a four-goal lead going into the final quarter.
In the end it was the Tactix' full court pressure that made the difference. They forced mistakes, they wore their opposition down and converted their turnovers, handing the Steel their eighth consecutive loss and plenty to think about as they head into their final two games of the season.
- OTAGO DAILY TIMES