Congratulations to our WBBL team who won the first ever Trophy final 76-62 against Nottingham Wildcats.
Nottingham Wildcats 62 (13, 25, 42) (Reynolds 30, Pressley 15, Ferreira 8)
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters 76 (13, 36, 59) (Gandy 25, Naylor 20, Thomas Johnson 8)
Steph Gandy inspired Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters to a 76-62 victory against Nottingham Wildcats in the inaugural WBBL Trophy Final.
The Great Britain international scooped Most Valuable Player honours as she scored a team-high 25 points and reeled in 11 rebounds – many of them coming in a decisive stretch early in the second quarter when Hatters established their lead.
The two teams sit at the top of the WBBL Championship and had split their previous two meetings so far this season with the Sheffield club triumphing in last weekend’s Betty Codona Classic.
But following a tight first period, Hatters seized the initiative and hammered home their advantage, behind some impressive rebounding, to claim a historic victory.
The opening exchanges were as close as expected as the teams went back and forth, ending the first period tied at 13 after Chantelle Pressley converted her fifth first-quarter free-throw.
With coach Vanessa Ellis’ words ringing in her ears, Gandy made an aggressive start to the second period, getting to the line five times in the first 90 seconds – completing an and-one play in the process.
This proved the catalyst for a 9-0 sequence, which would swing the game Hatters’ way.
Carmen Reynolds responded with a three-point play of her own to close the gap to 30-20, but the Sheffield club had given themselves and advantage to build on.
Ellis’ side maintained the initiative by crashing the offensive glass, reeling in 18 offensive rebounds in the first half to Wildcats’ five, heading into the interval with a 36-25 lead.
There was no shortage of endeavour from Wildcats after the break, but the execution was just lacking on both ends.
This was in evidence when Jennie Rodgers failed to capitalise on a Hatters turnover, allowing the Sheffield club to break before Georgia Gayle drilled a dagger triple to open up a 55-39 lead.
That momentum-shifter punctured Dave Greenway’s side impetus and sent Hatters into the final period on a high.
Reynolds did her best to inspire her team to what would have been an incredible comeback, with some impressive offensive plays in the fourth quarter, and the comeback looked like it could be on.
But Hatters’ advantage was too great, and with the likes of Helen Naylor continuing to score at an efficient rate, it was to be the Sheffield club’s day as they out-rebounded their opponents 63-34.
Reynolds finished with a game-high 30 points, combining with Pressley for 45 of Wildcats’ points.
But those impressive tallies would prove in vain as Hatters prevailed, Naylor adding 20 points to Gandy’s MVP performance.
Report Courtesy of the WBBLShare