Casey Kopua's final home game ended in rather fitting fashion – with the opposition shooters connecting at just 76 per cent.
With an enthusiastic crowd cheering her on at the specially re-named 'Casey Kopua Arena' in Hamilton, Kopua and her Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic teammates restricted the Northern Mystics to a poor offensive outing, as the hosts claimed a 61-52 victory.
While the victory means nothing in terms of the ANZ Premiership playoff picture — both teams are already eliminated — it would have meant plenty to Kopua, who earned a winning send-off in her final home game after 17 superb seasons with the Magic.
The long-time legendary defender for both the Magic and the Silver Ferns played her part in the victory, with the Mystics being limited to an appalling shooting percentage. Rising star Grace Nweke (37/49) and Kopua's former Ferns teammate Bailey Mes (15/19) both struggled to convert in their battle against the Magic's interior defensive duo of Kopua and Kelly Jury.
Although some of their issues were self-inflicted — Nweke missed some easy shots under the hoop — Kopua snared several trademark intercepts, and was influential in giving the Magic a 35-25 halftime lead.
The Mystics hit back with six straight goals immediately after the halftime interval, and had the deficit at four going into the final period, but the Magic had more to offer at the attacking end.
Kelsey McPhee continued her promising season with another strong performance, hitting 47 of her 55 shots, and giving the Magic enough of a buffer that Kopua could celebrate one last victory on her home court.