Gandy leads Hatters to triumph in first WBBL Trophy final -

Gandy leads Hatters to triumph in first WBBL Trophy final

On the back of a huge Steph Gandy performance, the Sheffield Hatters won the WBBL Trophy over the weekend, beating out the Nottingham Wildcats 76-62.

Great Britain forward Steph Gandy finished the game with a team high 25 points and 11 rebounds, good enough to earn the MVP award and a place in the WBBL history books as the first team to ever win the award. Many of Gandy’s stats came in the second quarter, when the Hatters took control of the game, gaining a lead that they wouldn’t let go of for the rest of the game.

Nottingham and Sheffield sit 1st and 2nd in WBBL, Nottingham winning both previous meeting between the teams, with a 1 point victory in the league and a 6 point win in the Betty Codona Classic.

But following a tight first period that ended at 13-13, the Hatters took advantage of a poor field goal percentage by Nottingham, hammering the boards while Steph Gandy racked up the points on the other end. Gandy’s asserted her offensive aggression early in the second period, making her way to the foul line 5 times in the first 90 seconds of the period. This would be the catalyst for a 9-0 sequence, which would swing the game Hatters’ way.

Although the Wildcats kept the game close going in to the break, only loosing by one point at 26-25, they failed to execute at both ends in the third period, allowing the Hatters to seize the momentum of the game and achieve 55-39 lead after forcing a number of turnovers.

The third period ended with Georgia Gayle hitting a dagger triple, puncturing Dave Greenway’s side and sending Sheffield in to the fourth quarter on a high.

Nottingham star Carmen Reynolds finished the game with 30 points, doing her best to inspire the Wildcats to a legendary comeback in the fourth, with some impressive offensive plays. But Hatters’ advantage was too great, and with the likes of Helen Naylor continuing to score at an efficient rate, it was to be the Sheffield club’s day as they out-rebounded their opponents 63-34.

Carmen Reynolds and Chantelle Pressley combined for 45 of Nottingham’s 62 points, but Gandy’s big double double and 20 points from Helon Neylor proved to be too much for the Wildcats.

Steph Gandy summed up the game: “We are the first team to win it and will always be the first team to have won it,”

“We never felt comfortable even with the lead we had and it’s always going to be a tough game against Nottingham as they always come out and play hard.”


Image Credit: Ville Vuorinen


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