By Grace Gunn
Severn Stars fell to a 50-54 defeat against Saracens Mavericks in round 17 at the University of Worcester Arena despite a quarter four late comeback.
The visitors’ high intensity drew a five-goal lead at the end of the first quarter as they led 13-18 inside the opening 15 minutes.
Despite an improved second quarter, Stars still remained behind at the break as Mavericks took a 26-30 lead into the third quarter.
A re-energised Stars returned for the third quarter as they reduced the deficit to two heading into the final 15 minutes as Mavericks led just 39-41.
Camilla Buchanan’s side saw out the victory with a four-goal lead, taking all three points after a 50-54 win.
An early intercept from Razia Quashie saw the away side create a marginal lead but a tip from Gabby Marshall provided Stars with the turnover as Grace Namana sunk a long ranger.
A resolute defensive display from Mavericks forced Stars into patient build up play before Namana converted yet another looping long shot.
Stars made an early substitute as Jasmine Brown entered for court for Jess Haynes as they looked to provide a different defensive threat for Britney Clarke.
Brown wasted no time in making her mark as she provided a crucial interception, sending her side away ahead of the buzzer.
A strong start from Buchanan’s side saw them take a five-goal lead into the second quarter.
An improved start to the second quarter from the hosts saw the attacking duo of Namana and Sigi Burger reduce the deficit following three consecutive goals.
Despite the resurgence of Stars, Mavericks didn’t let up as they continued to retain their lead but the defensive pressure from Jo Trip’s side forced the visitors into the extra passes before Sarah MacPhail produced a vital intercept.
Back-to-back goals from Stars saw the deficit reduce to just one but Quashie was there again to cut out the attack before sending her side away to increase their lead.
Brown again produced another crucial interception after leaping higher than the attack, but the tip falls in favour of Mavericks before they netted their 30th ahead of the buzzer.
An early turnover from Marshall as she picked up the loose ball before Shaw provided the feed into the arms of Namana, who converted once again.
Stars fired back with two quick goals from Burger as she looked to keep her side within touching distance but an interception from Sasha Corbin saw Mavericks retain a solid lead following Clarke’s conversion.
Buchanan’s side again increased their lead after a fast transition down the court following a Stars unforced error and led by six.
Stars were down by just two heading into the final quarter after MacPhail produced another vital turnover, providing Burger with the chance to capitalise in which she does.
Both sides came out firing with just 15 minutes remaining, but it was Mavericks who continued to take their chances as they created a five-goal lead early on despite the high defensive pressure from Trip and Brown.
Mavericks soon netted their 50th after Kira Rothwell used the post to realign herself before slotting it in.
The away side demonstrated their clinical ability after creating a 10-goal lead, but Burger was quick to reduce it with just four minutes to go.
A late burst from Stars saw them cut the deficit after Brown produced yet another crucial interception with Burger converting but an alert Mavericks side held them off to secure all three points.
Player of the Match: Saracens Mavericks’ Razia Quashie
Let’s Culminate Severn Stars Player of the Match: Jas Brown