WBBL Cup, Semi Final
Sheffield Hatters 66-100 London Lions (11-27, 29-49, 41-72)
(Hatters – Gayle 11, Shaw 9, Mcgrath 9; Lions – Leedham-Warner 27, Beckford-Norton 21, Stewart 14)
Sevenoaks Suns 71-29 Durham Palatinates (9-6, 35-13, 55-22)
(Suns – Fritz 18, Carr 17, Monakana 12; Palatinates – Hendershot 10, Bennett 9, Natufe 5)
Manchester Met Mystics 65-49 Oaklands Wolves (9-9, 34-26, 47-44)
(Mystics – Williams 25, Allen 14, Bailey 11; Wolves – Spence 14, Sarson 12, Leavold 8)
Cardiff Met Archers 54-82 Essex Rebels (10-30, 26-52, 42-69)
(Archers – Hatch 23, Saiki 8, Roy 7; Rebels – Munns 24, Costa 13, Waithe 10)
Nottingham Wildcats 62-64 Newcastle Eagles (17-20, 35-39, 46-50)
(Wildcats – Pannell 22, Gyles 17, Edmonds 9; Eagles – Eadsforth-Yaytes 22, Horton 11, Fernandez Pardo 9)
London Lions booked their place in the WBBL Cup final after a commanding performance over Sheffield Hatters, and there were big wins in the Championship for Sevenoaks Suns, Manchester Met Mystics, Essex Rebels and Newcastle Eagles.
Two of the Championship’s unbeaten sides met in a showcase semi-final that London controlled from the off, holding the Hatters to only 11 points in the first period. Sheffield made it a tighter affair in the second however London continued to pull away, led by Jo Leedham-Warner’s 17 first half points.
After the break London again found their footing quickly as they looked to wrap the game up early in the third, and by the end of it found themselves over 30 points clear of the Hatters. London coasted to clinch that final spot where they will play either Newcastle Eagles or Leicester Riders.
Leedham-Warner led all scorers with 27 points to go with seven rebounds as Shanice Beckford-Norton added 21 of her own as London booked their place in the final in emphatic fashion.
With London and Shefifield facing off in the Cup, this gave Sevenoaks Suns the chance to go clear at the top of the Championship and they grasped that opportunity with both hands in a dominant performance over Durham Palatinates.
Suns held the Palatinates to single digits in points in all four quarters in an impeccable defensive display, and after a slow start in the first that saw the Suns themselves only score nine, they flew out the gates to go two points clear at the top.
Judit Fritz led all scorers with 18 points on an impressive 80% shooting whilst the returning Janice Monakana posted 12 points.
Manchester Met Mystics continued their impressive start to the season going level on points with the Lions and Hatters in a closely fought affair with Oaklands Wolves. Mystics ended the first half well and took an eight-point lead into the break, before Wolves bridged that gap to within one score heading into the fourth and final quarter.
The Mystics then locked the doors in the final 10 minutes as they held the Wolves to only five final quarter points to continue their climb up the table.
Erika Williams posted 25 points in another impressive scoring performance whilst Dominique Allen posted a double double of 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Essex Rebels continued their good form as they made it three wins in a row in an impressive away performance against Cardiff Met Archers.
The Rebels wasted no time in taking the game to the Archers and after a 30-point first quarter they never looked back as they controlled much of the game. The win puts the Rebels two points clear of the Archers as they stay in the top half of the table.
Ashleigh Munns leads the Rebels in points per game and she posted a game high of 24 points whilst Shannon Hatch racked up 23 personal for the Archers.
The game’s final day was a thriller as Newcastle Eagles just came out on top in an extremely close contest against Nottingham Wildcats.
There was barely anything to separate the sides for the entirety of the ballgame before an Ebony Horton jumper put four points between the sides with 44 seconds remaining. The Wildcats fought back and brought the deficit back to within a score, and a three pointer from Imani Whittington came excruciatingly close for Nottingham as Newcastle picked up a crucial win.
Jessica Eadsforth-Yaytes posted a game high 22 points for the Eagles as Brooklyn Pannell scored 22 of her own for Nottingham.