Some last second heroics from shooter Elliot Clark has propelled the Mystics men to an astounding 49-48 triumph over the Stars men in game one of their men's invitational series at Pulman Arena.

New innovations were injected into the game, including a two-point shot for the whole match, captain's challenge and umpire audio being heard throughout the venue.

The contest started at a break neck pace - with both teams intent on showcasing their flair and athleticism from the outset.
Stars made their intentions clear early wanting to utilise the new innovation of the two point shot with Maru Delamare and Stan Smith launching some long bombs early with varied success.

The Mystics were happy to play the more conventional game, with big man Quintin Gerber at goal shoot usually the one to put the finishing touches on moves.

Both teams were guilty of sloppy play as they tried to maintain the frantic pace. While the Stars made more errors, they countered them with three successful two-point shots in the third quarter and assumed a slight amount of control to take the first quarter 12-10.

The Mystics called a captain's time out early in the second quarter, when a two point shot saw them down by eight and it had an immediate affect, with Thompson Mutuku landing a deep two-pointer of his own, before the Mystics went on a run and wore down the deficit.

The second quarter while swift, was a lot more controlled by both teams as the coaches trialled different combinations throughout and continued to decipher the best way to manage the two-point shot.

Mikaira Raerino was an efficient force under the hoop for the Mystics at goal shoot. Using his athleticism to finish with ease.

The Stars would end the quarter with the upper hand however, up 25-21 at the half-time break.

Stars goal defence Oceon Grady was electric around the court, snatching two acrobatic intercepts in the first half, while at the Mystics defensive end Hikoirangi Paki was as much a live wire, leaping through the air like a show dog with any chance he could. 

The Mystics kept nipping at the heels of the Stars, as momentum looked to swing their way. The Mystics looked to have worked out the best way to approach the two-point shot and the injection of Elliot Clark was timely, as he found his stroke from the two-point zone and brought the Mystics to within two at three-quarter time.

Clark continued to torment the Stars from two, netting four two-pointers early in the final period. Feeling the pressure and now chasing the game, the Stars called their captain's time out in a bid to try and halt the surge of the Mystics.

At the Stars shooting end, Smith answered back with some clutch shooting of his own, as both teams furiously traded blows in the final rounds of their epic bout.

With the clock ticking down, the Stars won a turnover and edged their noses in front by one, with less than 30 seconds to play. 

The Mystics swung the ball down court and it landed in the hands of their ice man Clark, who held his nerve and nailed a remarkable two-point shot to break the hearts of the Stars and their home crowd and give the Mystics an inspired 49-48 victory.  

The scene is now set for game two next Saturday at Eventfinda Stadium on Auckland's North Shore.

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