Northern Mystics have consolidated their spot atop the ANZ Premiership, completing a season sweep of crosstown rivals Northern Stars with a 69-61 victory at Waitakere.
Midcourt Peta Toeava starred for the Mystics, as they extended their unbeaten run to five games, doubling their lead in the final quarter to open a five-point margin over the second-placed Stars on the competition table.
They opened a four-goal margin over the opening quarter, but the Stars battled to a stalemate over the middle two periods and actually drew level at 42-42 in the third, before three consecutive goals restored the Mystics' advantage and they drew away 16-12 down the final stretch.
Goal shoot Grace Nweke dominated her team's scoring, converting 54/65 (83 percent) attempts on goal, while the Stars shared their offensive load between Silver Ferns shooter Maia Wilson (40/46) and Jamie Hume (20/33).
The Stars felt the brunt of a heavy penalty count that saw them penalised 69 times to their opponents' 48, with defender Anna Harrison whistled 26 times alone.
They also managed more circle feeds than the Mystics (96-85), with international midcourt Gina Crampton finding her shooters 51 time, but the offence attempted less shots than their counterparts (88-80) and converted at a lower percentage.
Their deficit deprive the Stars of a valuable bonus point, as they battle to stay clear of Southern Steel and Mainland Tactix on the ladder with three rounds remaining.
With a postponed game still to play, the Tactix have edged ahead of the Steel for third on goal difference, with a 47-34 win over defending champions Central Pulse, who converted 87 percent of their shots, but only attempted 39 to their opponents' 63.
But the Steel have a chance to close within one point of the Stars on Monday, when they visit Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.