City of Sheffield Hatters vs Nottingham Wildcats
Sweet victory for the Hatters in their second playoff game of the season away against Nottingham Wildcats. The winning team consisted of: Abbey Whitehouse (4), Alice Fallon (5), Zoë Kateregga (6), Maize Melady (7), Jess Morey (8), Vanessa Chinyere-Oji (9), Gianah Modest (10), Laetitia Kasongo (12), Charlotte Timms (13), Steph Oliver (14) and Morgan Peach (15).
The game began with some quick baskets from the Hatters to gain a 3-point lead over the opposition, however the Wildcats soon gathered their wits and pulled back the points quickly turning the game into a tug of war. With both teams only a basket apart at times, the tension was heavy in the air with the knowledge that the winner would progress to the Final Fours. Eventually the quarter ended Hatters 8 – Nottingham 15.
In the second quarter the Hatters began to pull back the lost points from the first with some structured offence and good decisions from all the players. At one point the home team seemed to pull ahead with some lucky breaks but the Hatters were quick to bring them back down to earth by forcing Nottingham to foul their players. But with the Hatters barely missing any free throws it hardly made a difference. The half ended Hatters 28 – Wildcats 30.
During the third quarter the Hatters managed to find their winning stride and began to push ahead of the despairing Nottingham with all players making a threat to the basket and a reluctance to foul on Nottingham’s part due to the amount of successful free throws so far in the game. And just when the opposition believed they managed to shut down the Sheffield girls Abbey scores three-point shot that puts their entire defence in a loop. The quarter ended Hatters 51 – Wildcats 42.
By the fourth quarter the winner was certain with the gap between the teams only reached a minimum of 5 points before the Hatters pulled it back and began to showcase even more recently acquired talents to the opposition. And with Steph scoring a long distance shot in the last 20 seconds of the quarter, the game ended Hatters 67 – Nottingham 56.
The top scorer for the Hatters this game was Zoë Kateregga with 22 points and second top scorer this game was Abbey Whitehouse with 17 points.
Match Report by Charlotte Timms