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Storm hits Northland with opening win


The Southland Storm women’s basketball team made an impressive on-court debut this morning with an opening round 84-58 victory over Northland Phoenix at the Women’s D-League in Auckland.


The newly-formed Storm enjoyed balanced scoring with six players reaching double figures – Tyra Dunn and Maddie Tinnock (14 each), Jenn O’Connell and Lucy Brown (12 each) and Sarah Hamilton and Lucy Kean (10 each). Northland were lead by Allyah Leusogi-Ape (sister of Southland Sharks player Dru-Leo) who has a game-high 25.


Lucy Kean, who forms the team's leadership group alongside Tyra Dunn and Morgan Hunter, said it was a great team effort.


"All of us were really unselfish and everyone played well. It was close early but we started to hit our straps in the second quarter and at the end of the third we started to pull away," Kean said.


"Everyone is getting on so well and it's just so good to have ten girls who are all getting stuck in. Team morale is great and with the Storm kit and all the the great support we have had from our team sponsors, we really feel and look like we belong," she said.


The Storm next face Tauranga City tonight at 8:15pm who beat Phoenix this afternoon by 79-72. The winner of tonight's game will top Pool D and earn a direct berth in the quarterfinals.


"We definitely want to shoot the ball better. Tauranga look like a strong team so we will need to play smart, use our speed and fitness and get up and down the floor.


Meanwhile the Southland U23 Men went down 109-82 to Taranaki to open their campaign this morning. Tom Cowie lead the Southland effort with a game high 29 with Ethan Mitchell and Campbell Scott both adding 13.

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