- National Teams
Two teams picked up their first league wins in the WBBL Championship this weekend, while the top three sides continue to impress.
Essex Rebels and Newcastle Eagles broke their ducks with convincing victories as the first month of league action concluded at the weekend.
These rankings are determined by several factors including both recent results and upcoming schedule and are just the opinion of the writer.
Latest results: WBBL Championship – Durham Palatinates 61-77 Newcastle Eagles, Sevenoaks Suns 80-69 Nottingham Wildcats, Sheffield Hatters 124-54 Oaklands Wolves, Essex Rebels 100-60 Manchester Met Mystics, Leicester Riders 83-54 Caledonia Pride; Cardiff Met Archers 47-83 London Lions
[denotes position from previous week]
(league record followed by overall record in all comps.)
Another convincing league win to back up an impressive European triumph in midweek as the Lions recorded their seventh domestic success of the campaign. Holly Winterburn tallied 12 points and 10 assists to go with seven rebounds and nine steals with Cassie Breen leading all scorers with 19 points – four other players in double figures in the win in Cardiff.
Even without GB Olympians Azania Stewart and Jo Leedham-Warner, as well as Valentina Klocker, the Lions had enough in depth to secure a 36-point victory as the defence continues to dominate. They are back at the Copper Box for EuroCup action on Wednesday before a Cup semi-final showdown with Sheffield in a couple of weeks’ time.
Next game: v Sheffield Hatters (A) – CUP – 20th November
The near triple-double streak from Cat Carr was snapped on Saturday with the reigning MVP posting 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in an 11-point home win over Nottingham. The Suns trailed at half-time but outscored their visitors 19-11 in the third quarter to take control of the contest and stay unbeaten in the league.
Sharpshooter Renee Busch fired in another seven threes in a 21-point outing with Sevenoaks still without Jamila Thompson as their starting five logged extra responsibility. Len Busch’s side also reached the century mark in WBBL Championship wins and have the chance to make it a three-way 5-0 tie at the top of this season’s standings heading into the international break when they travel to face Caledonia.
First three seasons: 24-28
Since the 2017-18 season: 76-3
🔜 @RidersWomen (99-34) can also reach the milestone if they win tonight.
— Bradley Gains (@BradHoopsfix) October 30, 2021
Next game: v Caledonia Pride (A) – CH – 6th November
Complete domination from the Hatters as they ran riot in a 70-point home win against a depleted Oaklands side. Sheffield showed no mercy as they racked up 124 points – including 47 in the fourth – with Georgia Gayle top scoring with a 26-point haul that included eight threes.
Nyilah Jamison-Myers went 9-of-10 from the field in 20 points with four other players in double figures in the win. Two weeks off from action now for the Hatters as they begin preparations for a huge battle with London in the semi-finals of the Cup.
Next game: v London Lions (H) – CUP – 20th November
Leicester picked up their first win under Marg Jones and their 100th in WBBL Championship history as they pulled clear for a comfortable home victory against Caledonia. Oceana Hamilton led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Louise Rouse had a WBBL career-high 17 points and Hannah Robb added 16 points, eight assists and six steals.
The Riders trailed 17-23 after 10 minutes but held their opponents to just 12 points through the middle periods as their defence sparked a bright offensive spell to take control. They will return to action after the international window with their next game at home to Gloucester in a few weeks.
Milestone achievement for our WBBL programme last night and one for the club history books!
— Leicester Riders (@RidersWomen) October 31, 2021
Next game: v Gloucester City Queens (H) – CH – 21st November
Signal their intentions, they did. The Rebels raced out of the blocks on their way to a century of points in a crushing home win over Manchester. Andrea Kohlhaas fired in five triples in a 20-point display as five players in total hit double figures as they shot 12-of-25 from three-point range.
Essex backed up their 25-12 opening with a dominant second half performance in relentless fashion with a 27-12 fourth quarter putting the finishing touches to a 40-point win. The Rebels will now look to level up their league record, after a tough start, with a trip to Durham on Saturday before a double-header with Cardiff after the GB window.
Next game: v Durham Palatinates (A) – CH – 6th November
The Mystics streak was snapped in emphatic fashion on Saturday as they fell to a 40-point defeat away at Essex. In the continued absence of Lauren Thomas-Johnson, Manchester lacked the additional firepower and were blown away in the first and fourth quarters.
Jeff Jones’ side remain amongst the top four in the league standings and return home on Saturday to take on Nottingham. They won by 16 in the Cup earlier in the season, though both sides were waiting on American arrivals, who have since had an impact on their respective teams.
Next game: v Nottingham Wildcats (H) – CH – 6th November
Cardiff now drop to 2-3 having been on course for a strong winning record a few weeks back, as they were well beaten at home to London. Stef Collins’ side had some bright moments to keep it within single figures at the half, but they managed just 14 points in the second against a dominant defence.
Mara Marchizotti found some success inside for 16 points with Shannon Hatch the only other player in double figures with 12 points as the Archers were forced into 22 turnovers. Next up, a trip to take on Newcastle having secured a dramatic late win in the North-East when the teams met in the league last season.
Next game: v Newcastle Eagles (A) – CH – 6th November
The extended break has begun for the Queens as they don’t return to action for another three weeks when they head on the road to take on Leicester. There was an international call-up for Maura Fitzpatrick with the league’s leading scorer set for a debut with Ireland’s senior team in this month’s qualifiers.
Next game: v Leicester Riders (A) – CH – 21st November
The Eagles are off the mark in the league. Chris Bunten’s side produced a solid road performance to overcome Durham for a convincing win to get their campaign up and running following four straight defeats. Ebony Horton top scored with 19 points, while Jessica Eadsforth-Yates and Abby Lowe had their best scoring displays with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Newcastle contained their opponents in a pivotal second quarter and then doubled up in the third with a combined 46-20 effort through the middle periods. They will now hope one win becomes two when they host Cardiff on Saturday with a chance to take some much-needed momentum into the international break.
Next game: v Cardiff Met Archers (H) – CH – 6th November
The Wildcats have had a tough start to their league campaign with their latest loss at Sevenoaks following defeats against fellow top-four sides Leicester and Sheffield. Kenrick Liburd’s side did have a half-time lead against the Suns, but their offensive output was reduced from 44 points to just 25 in the second half.
Brooklyn Pannell led the way with 20 points, while Kennedy Nicholas added another double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds with Jahnae Gyles scoring 10 points on debut. Nottingham find themselves amongst a group of six teams with a solitary win to their name and take on Manchester away from home on Saturday.
Next game: v Manchester Met Mystics (A) – CH – 6th November
Another North-East derby defeat for Durham as they went down to a 16-point loss at home to Newcastle. They started well to lead 20-16, but were held to just six points in the second. Katie Bennett top scored with 16 points with Elle Hendershot posting 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four blocks in a third appearance.
While the club officially announced the signing of Hendershot on Saturday, there was another new face in the lineup in the form of Jessica Wayne – who wore #21, though there has also been no update on Kara Elderkin. The Palatinates take on Essex on Saturday as they look to return to winning ways.
Next game: v Essex Rebels (H) – CH – 6th November
Wolves were without Merissa Quick and Greeta Uprus, while Lizzy Harrison played just two minutes as they suffered a heavy loss at the hands of Sheffield – giving up 124 points. It was a lesson to learn for the academy players with Daisy Porter showing more promise with a team-high of 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
These results will happen as Oaklands look to lean on their younger players more, but their senior contingent will be key in pushing for a spot in the playoffs this season. Lauren Milligan’s side look to bounce back after the international break when they visit Manchester in their next encounter.
Next game: v Manchester Met Mystics (A) – CH – 20th November
Bart Senger’s side made a strong start on the road at Leicester as they opened up a 17-23 advantage after the first 10 minutes. However, they were then outscored 48-12 through the middle periods and any hope of a memorable road victory quickly vanished.
Sian Phillips led the way with 18 points and nine rebounds in the loss and Pride have made a move to strengthen with the arrival of American guard Taylor Edwards to join Maud Ranger in their back-court. Caledonia are back at home this weekend as they welcome an unbeaten Sevenoaks side.
— Caledonia Pride (@Caledonia_Pride) November 2, 2021
Next game: v Sevenoaks Suns (H) – CH – 6th November
All fixtures subject to change and according to official release.
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