The Northern Mystics have bounced back after falling to an all-time low in the ANZ Premiership.
Stumbling to the bottom of the ladder for the first time in their history last week after a loss to the Northern Stars, the Mystics were desperate for a comeback, and found it, defeating the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic 53-46 in Rotorua tonight.
Banking a much-needed two points, the Mystics have rocketed into fourth place on the table – just two points behind the Mainland Tactix who occupy the third and final playoff spot. With the playoffs just three weeks away, tonight's win will be a major confidence boost for the Northern side.
Meanwhile, the Magic have dropped into fifth place since their previously promising run lost momentum in the wake of losing their captain Casey Kopua to injury. But with only three points between them and the Tactix, a spot in the playoffs could still be on the cards.
With the Magic as equally eager to notch a vital victory, the Mystics struggled to gain momentum in the opening quarter of the clash.
With the accurate Lenize Potgieter - who netted 100 per cent of her shots last week - back on the court in threatening form, it was up to a strong Mystics defence line-up to limit the South African shooter's impact.
And although the Mystics looked promising to take an early lead, shooters Bailey Mes and Jamie Hume's hesitancy under the hoop saw the visitors slip behind an ignited home side.
Stepping on to the court in the second quarter, Mystics captain Anna Harrison looked desperate for her side to rediscover the form they showed earlier in the season.
Harrison's tenacious defence paired with the fresh skillset of goal shoot Tera-Maria Amani to kickstart a sudden six-goal run as the Mystics suddenly surged ahead to lead 28-24 at halftime.
Dominating the third quarter, the Mystics made a decisive impact on the scoreboard, leaving the home side with plenty of ground to make up. The Magic briefly clawed back lost ground, but it was too little too late as the Mystics held their nerve to secure the win.
The Tactix and the Central Pulse will tip off Round 12 on Sunday afternoon in the season's final Super Sunday event at Takanini's Pulman Arena.
Super Sunday will also host the final match of the Northern Challenge where the Mystics will have a shot at redemption, and a chance to further enhance their playoff hopes, when they take on the Stars.