Bassett stars as Fever wins again

Rob Jefferiesaap

WEST Coast Fever showed prising the Challenge Trophy from its grip this season could be a difficult task after beating the Mystics 67-51 in Perth.

In a new initiative for the trans-Tasman Championship, the trophy is retained by a team until it is beaten, when it then belongs to the new winners.

The Fever was named the inaugural holders after a ballot draw, and showed last week's surprise win over the Firebirds in Brisbane was no fluke by dominating the highly rated Mystics from the outset.

Australian shooter Caitlin Bassett was again the star, finishing with an outstanding 51 goals, including a perfect 25 from 25 attempts in the first half.

Defending champions the Vixens also maintained their unbeaten record for the season, accounting for arch-rivals the Adelaide Thunderbirds 48-39.

Midcourt stars Liz Watson, Madi Robinson and Tegan Philip were again dazzling with their ball speed and movement for the Vixens.

At the other end, the old defensive firm of Geva Mentor and captain Bianca Chatfield, playing her 100th ANZ Championship match, made life extremely difficult for Adelaide shooters Carla Borrego and Erin Bell.

Coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson took the unusual step of benching Borrego during the third quarter, replacing her with 1.96m rookie shooter Kristina Brice.

In other results, the Southern Steel notched its first win of the season, beating fellow Kiwi outfit the Tactix 68-54 in Invercargill.

The Firebirds opened their account for the season with 52-46 win against the Pulse in Wellington.

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