All-Star 5 – Week 27 – Women’s British Basketball…
The stars of the WBBL left some of the best performances for last as the final All-Star 5 of the regular season combines for by far the highest overall performance points total, with a pair of representatives for each of Cardiff Met Archers and Essex Rebels, including a triple-double from Claire Paxton.
Shannon Hatch – Cardiff Met Archers
Archers finished the season on fine form with three wins in their last five, although it wasn’t enough to make the Play-offs, with captain Shannon Hatch leading the way in the last of those victories over Newcastle Eagles to make a third All-Star 5 appearance in the last four weeks. She posted a monster double-double of 28 points and 18 rebounds, adding four steals and three assists, and she was everywhere in a first quarter Archers won 27-10 to set up the victory, scoring nine points with five rebounds, two assists and three steals in that spell – her early steals and offensive rebounds led directly to nine points as she set the tone early on.
Erika Williams – Manchester Met Mystics
Similar, a big final day performance wasn’t enough to secure Mystics a post-season spot as they finished ninth despite victory over Leicester Riders, with Erika Williams making a second All-Star 5 showing of the season and a first in four months. Mystics went through the century in overtime on the road, with Williams scoring a huge 39 points on an irrepressible 8-13 (61%) three-point shooting, adding three rebounds and three steals. That included the three-pointer that tied the game inside the final minute and forced the extra period, before she scored six in overtime on another triple and an ‘and-one’ play.
DeAngelique Waithe – Essex Rebels
Rebels qualified for the Play-offs in seventh place after losing three of their last five games, and they might have missed out under slightly different circumstances had DeAngelique Waithe not helped spark a comeback in victory against Oaklands Wolves, leading to her second All-Star 5 showing in the last three weeks and fourth overall. Waite came from the bench to post a double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds, and after trailing 10-1 she checked into the game and scored 13 first half points including a pair of first quarter scores that put them in front, followed by another seven points early in the second stanza including a basket that put them up double-figures and completed the comeback.
Lauren Saiki – Cardiff Met Archers
Another big double-double in Cardiff’s win over Newcastle leads to guard Lauren Saiki making her first All-Star 5 appearance. She scored 22 points and handed out 14 assists, adding six rebounds and three steals, and sensationally scored 20 points on 6-7 (85%) three-point shooting in the first half, including three triples in two second quarter minutes as part of a 22-6 surge that put Archers in a commanding position before the break.
Claire Paxton – Essex Rebels
The other crucial win that Rebels secured last week to ensure their post-season appearance came on the road at Newcastle Eagles on Monday, with Claire Paxton the hero in this one with a sensational triple-double, leading to her third All-Star 5 showing of the campaign and first for 15 weeks. She put up 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists off the bench, and trailing by as many as 10 she scored nine first half points to keep them in striking distance, and then had a score, assist and steal on consecutive possessions to open the second half and spark a 12-2 burst that got them back in it. Rebels then poured in 34 points in the final period to seal the win, without Paxton scoring but with her fingerprints all over it as she handed out five assists and grabbed four boards.
Off the bench: Oceana Hamilton (Leicester Riders), Anna Lappenkuper (Leicester Riders), Jo Leedham-Warner (London Lions), Shaunay Edmonds (Nottingham Wildcats), Shanice Beckford-Norton (London Lions), Dominique Allen (Manchester Met Mystics), Laken James (Caledonia Pride).