WBBL: Rebels overtime comeback Trophy success; Eagles, Hatters, Palatinates & Wolves win in Championship

Essex Rebels completed a brilliant final quarter comeback against Caledonia Pride to force overtime, before breaking their opponents hearts to advance into the next round of the WBBL Trophy, after Newcastle Eagles, Sheffield Hatters, Durham Palatinates and Oaklands Wolves all won in the Championship earlier.

The Palatinates were the first team of the day to add two points to their tally in the Championship standings against Nottingham Wildcats, largely thanks to a perfect debut from former Newcastle Eagles star Abby Lowe, who dropped a career-high of 38 points on her first game for her new team.

Captain Katie Bennett came closest to securing a double-double for the home team, as she contributed 15 points of her own as well as making seven assists as she and Lowe linked up really well all game and proved difficult for the Wildcats to stop.

Kennedy Nicolas and Imani Whittington were in good form for the visitors despite being on the losing end of the result, as they both put up dominant double-doubles of 14 points and 14 rebounds as well as 16 points and 14 rebounds respectively.

McVicar on a mission

An hour later, Newcastle Eagles were the next team to secure victory as they came from behind at half-time to win by seven points against the Manchester Mystics with captain Maddy McVicar absolutely lethal from behind the arc, knocking down six three-pointers on her way to 20 points.

Without her contributions, the result would have been a different story as the Mystics outscored the visitors in the paint by 14, points from turnovers by two and points from their bench by six.

Mystics' Lauren Thomas-Johnson’s double-double from the bench was impressive, particularly as half of her ten rebounds were on the offensive end, while she led her team in points with 14.

Wolves roar

Meanwhile, Oaklands Wolves also earned a valuable two points after edging Gloucester City Queens by two points, withstanding the late barrage from the visitors which saw them go on a 12-1 run in the final five minutes – but it was too little too late.

Lizzy Harrison contributed put up a double-double for the Wolves, scoring 17 points and grabbing ten rebounds, while Merissa Quick added a team-high of 19 points, going 100% from behind the arc as well as grabbing nine rebounds and making two steals in an influential performance for her team when they needed it most.

Melita Emanuel-Carr, who played for the home side last year, did give the Queens a glimmer of hope as she put up a double-double of her own of 21 points and ten rebounds, which was almost matched by Marlee Ball who equaled her teammates tally of rebounds but scored three less points.

Gayle force

The final game of the evening in the WBBL Championship saw Sheffield Hatters comfortably cruise past Cardiff Met Archers on the road, beating them by 49 points to keep the pressure on at the top of the table.

Georgia Gayle was in inspirational form for the visitors, scoring a game-high 20 points as well as contributing five rebounds, five steals and four assists, while Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee was also popping up all over the court and put in a fantastic all-round performance, putting up 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Kim Kheing was the only Archer to reach double figures, as she scored 12 points from a field goal accuracy of 50%, while Carys Roy was impressive in her 13 minute cameo, scoring eight points off the bench and adding four rebounds and two assists, while going 100% from the field and drawing four fouls.

In the sole WBBL Trophy game of the afternoon, Essex Rebels were frustrated by Caledonia Pride throughout the game, until the fourth quarter when the English side turned on the heat and levelled the scores up before taking the victory in overtime.

Claire Paxton and Tia Freeman were crucial in the home side’s efforts, as they combined for 45 of the Rebels’ total points, while Megan Haines also put in a important shift off the bench as she scored 12 points, going 80% from the field in just under 15 minutes of game time.

Despite the result, the Pride will be very encouraged by a number of performances from their players, including Taylor Edwards, who if there was an extra five minutes left of the game, could have been on quadruple-double watch as she dropped 12 points as well as contributing ten steals, seven rebounds and six assists – but unfortunately for the visitors, the game ended in heartbreak.