The Waikato Wizards (6-1) moved to the top of the 2015 Women’s Basketball Championship with a solid 64-52 road win against Harbour Breeze (3-3).
In a game between last season’s finalists it was the Wizards that made the stronger start opening with an 8-0 run that was extended to 20-10 by quarter time.
Waikato’s stifling interior defence led by Jess Tuki, restricted the Breeze to an outside game that was totally misfiring. On the contrary the Wildcats seemed able to pick holes in the home team’s defence at will. The injection of Ella Fotu, only 24 hours off a flight from Spain, did assist the Breeze defensive effort but at half-time it was all Waikato as they led 34-14.
Miriam Stevens was in the thick of the action leading the Waikato effort with 7 points at the break.
The Breeze emerged from the half-time interval with revived vigour, led by the efforts of Tiarna Clarke and Zara Jillings, who had 10 points in the quarter. Kendall Heremaia and Krystal Leger –Walker responded with long-range triples as Waikato remained in the ascendancy 52-39 at three-quarter time.
The Breeze made a late run in the final quarter but the Wildcats were never seriously threatened and eased to their sixth win of the season.
The Wildcats hade a nice spread of scorers, six players scoring 7 points or more.
Waikato Wizards 64 (Stevens 11, Tuki 8/11, Leger-Walker 8, Leanne Walker 8)
Harbour Breeze 52 (Clarke 12, Jillings 10, Deena Franklin 8, Kate Lacey 8)
6-1 Waikato Wizards
5- 1 Capital Flyers
4-1 NZ Home Loans Canterbury Wildcats, Probands Nelson Sparks
4-2 Waitakere Lady Rangers
3-1 Oceana Gold Rush Otago
3-3 Auckland Counties Manukau Lady Hawks, Harbour Breeze
2-4 Bartercard Taranaki Thunder
0-5 Rotorua Lady Vols
0-6 Tauranga City Coasters, Te Tai Tokerau Phoenix