A vintage Casey Mihovilovich performance down the stretch spurred the Mandurah Magic women to a thrilling win over Kalamunda to end round one of the State Basketball League season on Saturday night.
Mihovilovich came up with several big-time plays in the dying minutes, hitting clutch free throws, grabbing steals and knocking down the layup that would go on to decide the game.
The 69-67 win, which goes down as Craig Watts' first as senior coach of the side, saw the squad bounce back from a blowout loss in their season-opening grand final rematch against Lakeside on Friday night.
It was a superb second quarter defensively that helped will the Magic back into the fold after a sluggish start, however, as they kept Kalamunda to just 11 points in the period to take a two-point lead into the half time break on the back of a buzzer-beating layup from import Delany Junkermier.
Mandurah's lead was stretched to five by the end of the third, and they threatened to blow the game out when a Junkermier layup saw them out to an 11-point buffer early in the fourth.
But a fresh-legged Kalamunda outfit, that did not play on Friday night, clawed their way back into the match on the back of Jennie Rintala's outstanding 30-point night.
The game was all tied up at 65 point apiece after Rintala hit a layup with 2:53 remaining on the clock, before a Mihovilovich free throw put the Magic back in front.
The Suns were skewed on the next possession with Emma Klasztorny grabbing a huge steal and following up with an assist to Mihovilovich, who drove to the basket to notch a three-point lead for Mandurah.
Kalamunda had the chance to level the scores when Lauren Jeffers was fouled on a three-point attempt and sent to the line for three free throws, but she whiffed on the second as Kelly Bailey went on to hit the game-sealing free throw for the Magic.
Mihovilovich ended the night with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, while Klasztorny mirrored her production with 14 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
Junkermier's 13 points and four rebounds helped buoy the side, while Bailey was a force with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.
The Magic will square off against Kalamunda once again next week, as they complete back-to-back games against the Suns on Saturday, March 23 at the Ray Owen Sports Centre.