Central Pulse 63
Northern Stars 39
The Central Pulse look like they'll be difficult to beat in the 2020 ANZ Premiership, with an incredible second quarter leading them to a comprehensive 63-39 win over the Northern Stars this evening.
The Pulse scored 21 goals in the second period, which would have been high scoring with regular 15-minute quarters, but even more impressive with the shortened 12-minute intervals.
With the Stars mustering just eight goals, it proved to be the deciding of the match. The Pulse had shot out to a 5-0 lead, but the Stars had fought back to be down by just one goal at the first break.
Stars goal shoot Maia Wilson evened the scores at the beginning of the second quarter, but the rest of the period – and the match - was dominated by the Pulse.
The seamless Pulse attack made the first half look easy, with only five turnovers, and Aliyah Dunn and Ameliaranne Ekenasio both shooting at 100 per cent.
The Stars made some defensive changes to start the second half, with Storm Purvis moving to goal defence and Oceane Maihi coming on at goal keep. This change made a difference, and the Stars defensive end picked up some turnovers, but the Pulse adjusted quickly to extend their lead.
Young wing attack Maddy Gordon played 40 minutes for the Pulse, after spending the majority of the 2019 season on the bench behind Whitney Souness. Souness made the move to the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic this year, and Gordon has stood up for the Pulse, with her speed and flair making her a contender for the Silver Ferns squad this year.
The 20-year-old was the MVP of the game and attributed the win to the intensity of the Pulse's training ahead of the re-started season.
"We train really hard and it was good that we could actually put out what we've been doing in training onto the court."
Dunn is another young player putting her hand up for Ferns selection, playing a full match and sinking 44 of her 46 attempts.
The Stars now have a big challenge on their hands, having to back up tomorrow night when they meet the Mainland Tactix, who recorded an impressive seven-goal win over the Southern Steel.
The Pulse and Northern Mystics are the two unbeaten sides through two rounds of the competition, while the Stars drop to 0-2, with only a first-round bonus point keeping them ahead of the cellar-dwelling Steel.