ETCO Auckland Dream beat Platinum Homes Harbour Breeze 82-73 to win the Battle of the Bridge and more importantly record a first victory in the 2021 Sal’s NBL at Pulman Arena on Saturday night.
The Breeze had led at half-time but a dawdling start to the second half handed the initiative to the Dream that enjoyed major contributions from Amanda Wayment and Sharne Robati who each scored 17 points while Esra McGoldrick had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
17-year old Flo Dallow, playing just her second NBL game, was outstanding for the Breeze making 5 from 6 threes on her way to a game high 23 points.
Earlier Breeze guard Tiarna Clarke had opened the scoring but the 2020 Sal’s NBL leading scorer Robati was soon into her work notching 9 early points. Ella Fotu almost matched that with 8 – Breeze ahead 20-18 after the first ten minutes.
Dallow dropped her second three of the game to keep the Breeze in the ascendancy but a drive and score from Casyn Buchman tied proceedings at 26 points each.
Mackenzie Chatfield scored her first NBL points with a scooped layup before Olivia Berry’s running jumper again tied the game.
Clarke had begun the half with an arching three and finished the period in the same fashion to give the Breeze a 35-32 interval lead.
The Dream started the second half with a 16-3 run, 8 of the points to Wayment before Dallow made her fourth triple of the contest.
The Breeze were struggling to contain the Dream’s transition game, an eleven-point advantage to the hosts was reduced to eight (60-52) at the last break – but for Dallow’s 12 points the margin would have been greater.
McGoldrick’s coast-to-coast effort restored the double-digit lead for the Dream, 73-63 in their favour with 4 minutes to play.
Clarke’s three made it a 7-point game , Dallow’s fifth from range a 4-point contest with 1:33 to play and suddenly the Dream supporters were on edge.
Jelena Vucinic’s first score of the game was timely and Berry’s free-throws calming as the Dream closed out a hard fought win
Auckland Dream (82) defeated Harbour Breeze (73) - BOX SCORE
DREAM: Wayment 17, Robati 17, McGoldrick 17/10rebs/4a/3stls/2blocks, Berry 15, Buchman 8 .
BREEZE: Dallow 23, Fotu 15, Clarke 11, Kailahi-Fulu 10/13rebs, Chatfield 8
1 The Dream versus Breeze local derby’s are invariably tight, tense affairs and this was no different.
2 The Breeze are 0-2. Hardly an ideal start for the defending champions.
3 There is some terrific teenage talent on display at NBL ’21. Add Flo Dallow to your list of players to watch.
Bartercard MVP Votes
9 points - A Wayment (Dream)
6 points - F Dallow (Breeze)
5 points - S Robati (Dream)
5 points - O Berry (Dream)
4 points - E Fotu (Breeze)
1 point - E McGoldrick (Dream)
On Day 4 (Sunday) both Waikato Wizards and ETCO Auckland Dream will play their third game in four days with fatigue possibly a factor.
The Wizards will face Capital Swish at 6.00pm in what promises to be an absolute cracker of a contest.
In the second game at 8.00pm the Dream will entertain Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats with all eyes on Tessa Boagni to see if she can repeat the heroics of Friday night when she led her team to an overtime win against Harbour Breeze.