- National Teams
The 2022 WEABL playoffs are now set after the conclusion of the regular season with Nottingham Academy and City of London Academy going unbeaten in their respective conferences.
Nottingham secured the Conference title with a game to spare and completed an unbeaten group phase with victory over Derby on Wednesday to finish 8-0. The Cats found early form from the likes of Maisie Evison, Natalie Charity and Mariam Olawoyin before German forward Praise Egharevba returned from injury in a major boost to the team with a couple of big-time double-doubles.
Charnwood split their eight games to take second spot with Sheffield just behind with an identical 4-4 record with reigning MVP Abbey Whitehouse leading their charge. Former winners Charnwood had started 0-3 with losses to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield, but picked up three wins in February before beating Sheffield by 19 to gain the head-to-head.
Meanwhile, Derby edged Manchester to the fourth spot as they held the crucial head-to-head with both sides finishing with two wins from their eight games. The Mystics opened with a win over Sheffield, but had to wait for their second win – beating Derby by five points, though that would not be enough having lost the previous encounter by 12 as they missed out despite the impressive displays of Charli Wroe.
Standings: Nottingham 8-0; Charnwood 4-4; Sheffield 4-4; Derby 2-6; Manchester 2-6
Two-time WEABL champions CoLA swept through the Southern Conference with 12 wins from 12 – securing top spot a few weeks ago with an emphatic win at Copleston. Jackson Gibbons’ side defeated Barking Abbey by 50+ in November and won every game by at least 20 points as they carry momentum into the post-season.
Oaklands secured second spot with a 9-3 record with Copleston having to settle for third as they lost their final game of the regular season to drop to 8-4. Barking Abbey recorded an 87-82 victory on the road behind a 45-point haul from Fatmata Janneh as back-to-back wins this week clinched their place in the post-season.
Olivia Forster dropped 37 points in vain for Copleston in the defeat, but was a constant scoring threat throughout the campaign that contributed to their eight wins. Oaklands were spurred on by star performances from their backcourt duo Daisy Porter and Kizzy Spence as they split their double-header with Copleston as well as losing twice to CoLA.
Barking Abbey also defeated ASL on Monday with Grace Strickland contributing 29 points and six assists to help the side on their way to clinching fourth spot after overcoming a slow start to the competition having not picked up their first win until February.
— Hoopsfix Women (@HoopsfixWomen) March 10, 2022
Itchen missed out in fifth place and closed on a high with Faye Endean’s 25 points helping secure a fourth win to avenge an earlier loss to JMA in the campaign with the side from Reading only picking up one other win as they split their two games with bottom side ASL.
Standings: CoLA 12-0; Oaklands 9-3; Copleston 8-4; Barking Abbey 5-6; Itchen 4-8; JMA 2-10; ASL 1-11
WEABL playoffs – Elite Eight:
Nottingham v Barking Abbey
Oaklands v Sheffield
Charnwood v Copleston
CoLA v Derby
WEABL playoffs – Final Four:
Nottingham/BA v Oaklands/Sheffield
CoLA/Derby v Charnwood/Copleston