GIANTS Netball lifted for embattled shooter Caitlin Bassett in her 200th game to reward the Origin Diamonds captain with a 75-68 Super Netball win against West Coast Fever.
English international Jo Harten continued her stellar start to the season to give her circle partner every chance of celebrating the milestone game with a win at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.
Harten’s 22 goals and 19 feeds honoured the occasion for Bassett who was also a heavy contributor with 47 goals at 89 percent accuracy.
“We’re so relieved. It was our third game, make or break, everything was on the line and we had to win,” GIANTS captain Harten said of the side’s first win for the season.
“Usually milestone games can be a bit rocky but we wanted a big performance for Bass. There’s a lot to celebrate tonight.”
Jhaniele Fowler’s 58 goals gave the Fever a chance, and they closed to a five-goal margin with three minutes left before the GIANTS steadied.
Bassett’s value under the league’s new super shot system had been in question after the national team captain had featured in just 73 of a possible 120 minutes across the first two games of the season.
While her proven ability to deliver under pressure has served her clubs and country well over 15 years at the highest level, a renewed focus on long-range scoring has raised questions about her future.
The Fever at least paid Bassett the respect of teaming two defenders – Olivia Lewis and Sunday Aryang – to contain her at different times during the first half.
The 32-year-old sharpshooter started confidently, with her 24 first-half goals prompting the Fever to hand a debut to Mackay-raised rookie defender Bridey Condren.
Midcourter Jess Anstiss had already put her body on the line for the Fever, dislocating a finger in the first half and returning from treatment for the second half as her side slipped behind by 10 goals.
Anstiss played her heart out but could not do enough for the Fever as Harten took the game away from them in the second half.
Q1: GIANTS 17 v Fever 20
Q2: GIANTS 22 v Fever 15
Q3: GIANTS 19 v Fever 17
Q4: GIANTS 17 v Fever 16
Nissan Player of The Match – Jo Harten (GIANTS Netball)
GIANTS shooting statistics
Caitlin Bassett: Total points – 47 G1 – 47/53 (89%)
Jo Harten: Total points – 28 G1 – 16/18 (89%) G2 – 6/7 (86%)
Fever shooting statistics
Jhaniele Fowler: Total points – 59 G1 – 57/58 (98%) G2 – 1/8 (12.5%)
Kaylia Stanton: Total points – 6 G1 – 0/1 (0%) G2 – 3/4 (75%)
Alice Teague-Neeld: Total points – 11 G1 – 08/10 (80%) G2 – 03/05 (60%)
GIANTS starting seven: GS – Caitlin Bassett GA – Jo Harten WA – Kiera Austin C – Jamie-Lee Price WD – Amy Parmenter GD – Kristiana Manu’a GK – Sam Poolman
Fever starting seven: GS – Jhaniele Fowler GA – Alice Teague-Neeld WA – Verity Charles C – Jess Anstiss WD – Stacey Francis GD – Sunday Aryang GK – Olivia Lewis