Sevenoaks Suns Claim Under 16 National Cup After Strong 4th Quarter

Sevenoaks Suns claimed the Under 16 National Cup 83-69 but had to pull out all the stops in an action packed 4th quarter to get over the line.

Nottingham Wildcats played hard and pushed them all the way, tying the game at 60-60 early in the 4th quarter. But Sevenoaks’ depth and quality shone through down the stretch as they pulled away to claim the Cup in style. MVP honours went to Sevenoaks’ captain Tarmara Fournillier-Onadeko after her stacked stat line of 18 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and seven steals.

Both teams started quickly, suiting the Wildcats style and it told as Nottingham pushed out to an early 8-3 lead. Their Kent based opponents did well to respond though, growing into the contest as the quarter wore on. With the first frame at an end, Nottingham’s would lead by just 1 at 21-20 with Masie Evison (25 points, four rebounds, two assists) pacing the Wildcats with seven early points.

The 2nd quarter would see Sevenoaks move through the gears as their slender deficit became a substantial lead. Asha Andrews (22 points, six assists, four rebounds) built on her eight points in the first quarter by adding eight more in the 2nd, helping to sustain a 15-6 Suns run over the first four and a half minutes of the stanza. Offensive might was coupled with defensive grit as Nottingham struggled to score as freely, with Wildcats’ captain Mariam Olawoyin (13 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, two assists) being held to just 2 points in the quarter. That left the Suns in control at the half, up 45-37.

Needing a response from his team, Coach Lindsey sent his team out with some intent to start the 2nd half and it paid dividends as the quarter wore on. After trading blows for most of the frame, Nottingham hit their stride and began to build momentum as the 4th quarter loomed. Evison dropped 13 points and Olawoyin added five more as the Wildcats moved within 5 with 10 minutes to go.

Any fans expecting a grandstand finish appeared to be in luck as Nottingham capped an 8-0 scoring run to erase their deficit early in the 4th at 60-60, but that was before Sevenoaks regained their grip on proceedings. Eventual MVP Fournillier-Onadeko scored eight of her 18 points in the game’s final quarter, helping push her team over the line.

Sevenoaks Suns Head Coach Len Busch, “Very happy for the girls, they’re a terrific group and they had to work hard to get this one, but they did it. I wasn’t happy with the first quarter, they scored 21 points and I said ‘If they score 21 every quarter we’re going to have a problem’, we managed to hold them a little better after that.”

Nottingham Head Coach Steven Lindsey, “It was a very competitive game, the first quarter was a bit end to end and we managed to steal that one, and we expected a similar trend for the rest of the game but Asha (Andrews) and Tarmara (Fournillier-Onadeko) kind of lit it up. That was a common trend through the rest of the game. Overall, it was competitive and a great standard for the Under 16 Girls Premier Division.”