WBBL 2022-23 Power Rankings - Version 2 - Hoopsfix.com

WBBL 2022-23 Power Rankings – Version 2

Our second edition of this season’s WBBL Power Rankings comes as the action is wrapped up for 2022.

The look ahead to the New Year begins with the WBBL Trophy First Round weekend in Essex, while the WBBL Cup final is now set as London Lions and Leicester Riders will meet in Birmingham next month.

These rankings are determined by several factors including both recent results and upcoming schedule and are just the opinion of the writer.

Latest standings: WBBL Championship – Lions 7-0; Riders/Hatters 6-1; Gladiators 5-1; Suns 5-3; Rebels 4-5; Archers/Eagles 3-4; Wildcats/Wolves 2-6; Palatinates 1-5; Mystics 0-8

➖ [1] 1: London Lions (7-0, 9-0)

Make that 47 consecutive wins in domestic competitions for the Lions, who also advanced to the EuroCup playoffs for the second season in a row. London were tested on the road by Cardiff before emphatically beating Nottingham 113-56 as Holly Winterburn poured in 25 points to help them to 7-0.

In Cup action, Kiki Herbert-Harrigan fired in 29 points in an 82-92 victory in Sheffield in the quarter-finals before they overcame former winners Sevenoaks by 15 on the road last Sunday. London know how to win and are showing no signs of stopping on their quest for a repeat clean sweep with WNBL D1 newcomers Brent Bulls next up in the Trophy.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅✅✅✅
Next up – (N) v Brent Bulls – TRO – 7th January

➖ [2] 2: Sheffield Hatters (6-1, 6-2)

The Hatters hold onto second spot in our rankings with both of their defeats coming against London this season. Their most impressive won came in beating Sevenoaks by 16 on the road with Karly Murphy putting up 22 points as the American went on to claim the November Player of the Month award.

Following their Cup exit, Sheffield soon moved to 6-1 in the league as they beat Manchester by 43 at home before grinding out a win in Essex as Murphy and Helen Naylor had 18 points apiece. The Hatters only lost by 10 at home to the Lions and look to be the strongest challengers alongside Leicester heading into 2023.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅❎✅❎
Next up – (N) v Ipswich – TRO – 8th January

➖ [3] 3: Leicester Riders (6-1, 8-1)

Four more wins added to their season record as the Riders take a six-game streak into the New Year as they sit joint-second in the league as well as having reached the final of the WBBL Cup. Krumesh Patel’s side first defeated Nottingham in the quarter-finals before battling past Essex with a dominant fourth quarter in last weekend’s semi-final encounter.

McKenzie Johnston dished out 12 assists to go with 11 points in the win and it’s on the defensive end where Leicester have particularly impressed. They held Durham to 48 points in a 44-point road win before keeping the Wildcats to 43 earlier this month with another all-round team display.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅✅✅✅
Next up – (N) v Oaklands Wolves – TRO – 7th January

[4] 4: Caledonia Gladiators (5-1, 6-2)

The Gladiators have only played two games since the start of November as they went out in the Cup at the hands of Sevenoaks before finally returning to league action this past weekend. They managed to hold off the winless Mystics by eight at home, although they were without Erin Jones and Te’a Adams for the clash.

Chantelle Handy starred with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win to push the Gladiators to a strong 5-1 opening in league play. They will be looking to avoid an upset in the Trophy when they take on TVC in Essex, whilst strengthening their league position as they welcome Cardiff and Oaklands in January.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅❎✅❎✅
Next up – (N) v Thames Valley Cavaliers – TRO – 7th January

[5] 5: Sevenoaks Suns (5-3, 6-4)

The Suns have begun to find some form in recent weeks after temporarily dropping to below .500 when they lost at home to Sheffield at the start of November. They bounced back with narrow wins against Caledonia in the Cup as well as Cardiff and Essex in the league before brushing aside Durham.

Their four-game win streak came to an end last weekend when they were beaten in the Cup semi-finals by London. Araion Bradshaw has settled with some strong all-round performances, while their experienced core are doing what is expected and the Suns were finally able to give a debut to Brittany Hodges this month in a big boost moving forward.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎✅✅✅✅
Next up – (N) v Essex Rebels – TRO – 7th January

⬆️ [8] 6: Essex Rebels (4-5, 6-6)

This has been much like the Rebels that was expected at the start of the season. The team has begun to click together as they reeled off three straight wins in the league and made it to the semi-finals of the Cup. Hard-fought losses at home to Sevenoaks and Sheffield were followed by pushing Leicester close as they came up short of a first-ever WBBL final.

The addition of Daniella Turner has given Essex another important contributor, while Sune Swart continues to go to work in the post as the team’s leader in scoring and rebounding. The returning core from last season are playing their roles and the Rebels don’t seem far off taking a major scalp this season.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎❎✅✅
Next up – (N) v Sevenoaks Suns – TRO – 7th January

⬆️ [9] 7: Newcastle Eagles (3-4, 3-5)

Newcastle have been waiting to have a full roster together and have shown their potential in recent encounters. They were edged out 65-69 at home to Essex in November before a comfortable 99-72 success against Oaklands as their big-hitters all contributed.

Marina Fernandez netted 20 points, Katie Nolan and Antoinette Lewis posted customary double-doubles and Maggie Justinak posted 18-9-10 for a near triple-double. The Eagles backed up the win by beating Manchester 66-81 on the road and will now have their eyes set on making a climb up the standings with their next four in the league all scheduled to be at home.

Last five games (most recent first): ✅✅❎❎❎
Next up – (N) v Nottingham Wildcats – TRO – 8th January

⬇️ [6] 8: Cardiff Met Archers (3-4, 3-5)

A slight drop for the Archers having not been able to quite live up to their excellent start to the season. A 3-0 opening has turned into 3-4 with four defeats in a row as they lost a heartbreaker away at Oaklands before going up against Sevenoaks and London.

Shannon Hatch scored 28 points in the 79-77 defeat to the Wolves, while Lauren Saiki recorded the first triple-double of the season with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists as the Archers went down 92-85 to the Suns in an overtime classic. They hung with the Lions in a respectable effort, but they will be looking to quickly get back to winning ways when action resumes.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎❎❎✅
Next up – (N) v Durham Palatinates – TRO – 7th January

⬆️ [10] 9: Oaklands Wolves (2-6, 2-7)

The Wolves resurgence continued at the start of November when they pulled off a thrilling victory over Cardiff as Cassidy Gould sunk the game-winner and Jorjah Smith dropped 32 points. Things somewhat stalled following that drama as they gave up a combined 199 points in successive losses to Newcastle and Essex.

Grace George fired in 33 points at home to the Rebels and remains the league’s leading scorer with 22.0 points per game having provided a major spark at both ends of the floor. Oaklands travel north to take on Caledonia and Durham in league play in January after a Trophy meeting with the in-form Riders.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎✅✅❎
Next up – (N) v Leicester Riders – TRO – 8th January

⬆️ [11] 10: Durham Palatinates (1-5, 2-6)

Durham have only won once in seven since their season-opening victory in the Cup. They are second bottom in the league with a 1-5 record, but did enjoy their first triumph earlier this month by beating Nottingham 84-74 as Jessica Wayne netted 33 points and Elle Hendershot had 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

Either side of that sole success, the Palatinates had heavy losses against Leicester and Sevenoaks and also bowed out of the Cup in early November. They are still thin on the ground in terms of roster depth, and despite being able to cause teams problems, they are on the outside looking in for early playoff contention.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎✅❎❎❎
Next up – (N) v Cardiff Met Archers – TRO – 7th January

⬇️ [7] 11: Nottingham Wildcats (2-6, 3-7)

The Wildcats’ last win came against Oaklands in October as they are in the middle of a slump with six consecutive defeats. They’ve lost twice to Leicester in recent months having exited the Cup at the quarter-final stage and dropped to 2-6 in league play.

Nottingham have scored 60+ points once in their last five games, when they were beaten 84-74 away at Durham, despite 15 points and 24 rebounds from Kennedy Nicholas. The absence of Jahnae Gyles in recent encounters has limited their offensive potency and they will need to turn things around in the New Year.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎❎❎❎
Next up – (N) v Nottingham Wildcats – TRO – 8th January

[12] 12: Manchester Met Mystics (0-8, 0-9)

The tough start to the season has not got any easier for the Mystics as losses – and injuries – have continued to mount. They are the only team without a win to their name so far this season with further league defeats coming against Newcastle, Sheffield and Caledonia in December.

Sam Keltos has been a bright spark with a big 30-point performance against the Eagles followed by 19 points in an 88-45 loss to the Hatters before posting 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Mystics came up short by eight in Scotland. Abby Niehues and Claire Abbott have been long-term absentees and Manchester will start 2023 looking to avoid an upset in the Trophy as they take on WNBL D1 side CoLA.

Last five games (most recent first): ❎❎❎❎❎
Next up – (N) v CoLA – TRO – 8th January

All fixtures subject to change and according to official website.

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