WBBL Trophy, Semi-Final
Leicester Riders 58-73 BA London Lions (12-20, 32-41, 44-66)
(Riders – Winterburn 13, Brewer 11, Clark 8; Lions – Breen 18, Umeh 16, Beckford-Norton 15)
Cardiff Met Archers 85-72 Caledonia Pride (29-31, 54-43, 72-55)
(Archers – Marchizotti 18, Ball 17, Bigica 17; Pride – Ranger 24, Phillips 16, Storie 9)
Sevenoaks Suns 85-59 Manchester Met Mystics (20-10, 39-33, 67-50)
(Suns – Carr 18, Da Silva 14, Monakana 13; Mystics – Fong Lyew Quee 12, Jones 11, Bailey 9)
BA London Lions are through to the WBBL Trophy Final after beating Leicester Riders 73-58 on the road on Saturday, ending Riders’ three year reign as WBBL Trophy champions.
Lions came into the game on form, with Head Coach Mark Clark having picked up Molten WBBL Coach of the Month for February, and this was an eighth straight win behind a game-high 18 points from Cassie Breen, supported by a big non-points double-double of 15 assists and 11 rebounds for Kennedy Leonard.
And they showed their intentions from the outset, racing into a 12-4 lead with five different players scoring; Chantel Charles doing good work on the inside before Breen scored four more in another 8-2 push as they went up 20-8.
Riders got to within one shot in the second, until a 9-2 response extended the lead back to double-figures. And the tie was settled when Lions opened the third period with a 13-2 surge as Breen added seven to her total and Stephanie Umeh scored consecutively among her 16 points off the bench, making the lead an insurmountable 54-34.
Lions now await the winner of Nottingham Wildcats and Manchester Met Mystics in the final, which will be their second major final in the WBBL having been runners-up in this competition in 2016.
In the WBBL Championship on Saturday afternoon, Sevenoaks Suns remained unbeaten at 3-0 after over-powering Manchester Met Mystics 85-59 at home, leapfrogging their opponents in the table in the process. Ta’Yani Clark put in an impressive all-round display, with 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Suns got off to a fast start and led 18-8 after scoring 14 straight points, sparked by a Cat Carr triple and including a pair of threes from Irene Garrido-Perez, and they led from that point and throughout.
Mystics got back to within one shot in the third quarter, but Janice Monakana started a run of 16 straight in which Carr added six more on her way to a game high 18 points, and the score was 60-40 midway through the period on a Clark three.
The game was settled when Suns held their visitors scoreless for four minutes to open the fourth period, condemning Mystics to a first defeat in five games in all competitions.
Finally, Cardiff Met Archers improved to 3-3, and a share of sixth place, after beating Caledonia Pride – who started the day just one spot below them – by 85-72 in South Wales, snapping a run of three straight defeats in a first home win since mid-December.
After a close but high-scoring start, Archers opened the second stanza with an 18-6 tear over six minutes in a balanced scoring run that involved six different players, Marlee Ball scoring five to make the score 47-37.
Ball had eight points in a period that Archers won 25-12, proving decisive as after conceding 31 points in the opening quarter they allowed their visitors just 24 over the next two quarters, as Pride slipped to a fifth defeat in six games.
Women’s British Basketball League
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