Mackay shooter impresses Rays skipper in strong cameo role
IT WAS a hard moment to miss when Zoe McIntyre came on the court for the Northern Rays.
Mackay showed who the fan favourite was when raucous cheers were the soundtrack for McIntyre's appearance.
The Mackay girl stretched her legs in the third quarter, filling in the goal shooter role.
Rays captain Jacqueline Dupuy took the lead in attack for most of the match beforehand.
Down by a significant margin against the Brisbane South Wildcats, the Rays looked for a way to shake up their playing style.
McIntrye first came on in the goal shooter role, but was most at home in goal attack.
Come the final quarter, Dupuy swapped roles with McIntyre so she could perform in her preferred position.
Dupuy said the 18-year-old attacker brought a fresh style, different to her own.
"She brings a whole other level to the game,” Dupuy said.
"Zoe is confident in her shot and she's a very active player. She is able to get her timing right and get defenders' heads turning.”
The Rays captain humbly branded herself "less dynamic” than the young star.
"I'm more of a post-up and pass the ball in player. . . so it's really good to have the ability to change that up,” Dupuy siad.
"We brought Zoe on in the second half and she completely changed the style in the attacking end.”
Unpredictability was the focal point in the Rays' Sapphire Series strategy.
"We've been working on that variation for the whole pre-season,” Dupuy said.
"When you're down there's no reason not to change your strategies.”
Dupuy said that dynamic was present across most positions in her side.
"It's a credit to Jillian (Joyce) that we can trust the girls to change throughout a game,” Dupuy said.
"There's obviously a lot to work on with that, but us being more confident is only going to be a win for us through the year.”
Dupuy said the 66-32 defeat to the Wildcats was a result of small lapses in concentration.
"We had plenty of ball and we were able to convert when we got it down . . . but it was that transition through mid-court which we struggled with,” she said.
Despite being short a couple of star players, the Rays captain hoped to have the depth across the entire squad to replace those missing.
"I think we had that (depth) , we just need to build the confidence to put that out there for four quarters,” Dupuy said.
"I don't think we have the age or experience to have the composure. But I think we definitely have some leaders.”