CoLA claim WNBL D1 Playoff title with dominant finals performance -

CoLA claim WNBL D1 Playoff title with dominant finals performance

Cola WNBL Division 1 Playoff Title 2024

City of London Academy reclaimed the WNBL Division 1 Playoff title with a 72-56 win over Ipswich on Sunday at the NBPC in Manchester.

It is yet another chapter of youthful dominance for the CoLA side, who continue to win titles at senior level despite being a roster of teenagers, bar one, having built a fierce rivalry with their Ipswich counterparts.

Felicia Jacobs was named MVP with 12 points, 13 rebounds and three steals, as CoLA spread the load with four players reaching double figures including 15 points from Violet Stutz.

The victory also marked the end of an era for the programme as Head Coach Jackson Gibbons revealed he will be stepping down from the role of Head Coach in Division 1 and the WEABL side from next season to let assistant Brian Nguru take the reins.

“I just couldn’t be prouder of that group of kids man,” Gibbons said after the game.

“They were sensational, I’m a little emotional. The game isn’t about me it’s about the kids, I say that every single year.

“Credit to Nick (Drane), all the players at Ipswich, we’ve got nothing but respect for them, they’re an absolutely tenacious, relentless, just tough team. They were deserved league champions, we upset them today, I thought our girls were resilient, tough, they did an amazing job.

“Hats off to a bunch of 19 year olds and one 24 year old, the 24 year old frustrates me more than the 19 year olds but that’s the CoLA journey that’s what we hope it will all be every time we lace them up.

“It was an emotional one for me so it was my last game at Division 1 and yeah, what a way to go out.”

Having last won the competition in 2022, CoLA went a step further than last year where they ended runners up, and played spoiler to Ipswich’s hopes of their first WNBL league, Cup and Playoff treble since 2012/13.

It was a dominant third quarter that saw CoLA take control, holding Ipswich to just seven points while opening up an eight point lead before extending it in the fourth using a 21-0 run that bridged the two periods.

CoLA controlled the glass, with 31 offensive rebounds, led by rising star Adaora Dioramma’s 16 in under 20 minutes.

Ipswich were led by 21 points from Harriet Welham and 12 points, 11 rebounds from Christabel Osarobo, but the side were held to just 26% shooting.

Box score.

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