On Saturday the 16th of November the Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters added yet another victory to the win column for the EBL. They faced the Nottingham Wildcats and defeated them 65-43. The Hatters controlled the game from the tip. The biggest lead that the Hatters had against the Wildcats was 22 points.
The Hatters played well as a unit in the first half with the score at 41-28. However, the Wildcats came back fighting in the second half. It just wasn’t enough to catch up to the Hatters.
Coach Vanessa Ellis warned her players that there was still plenty of time left in the game for the Wildcats to come back. “I told the girls that just because we were up by twenty points, we shouldn’t come out in the second half like we already won the game” stated Ellis.
Regardless of the hard fought efforts by the Wildcats they fell to Hatters in the end. The top two players for the opposition were Ritchie with 17points and 9 rebounds, and her teammate Bicane had a double-double with 11points and 12 rebounds.
Once again the Hatters had many players with top performances for the match. First was top scorer Helen Naylor with 21 points and 5 assists. Kisha Lee had another double-double for the Hatters finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Stephanie Gandy added 11 points and Naomi Campbell added 10 points.
Congratulations were in order for the Hatters; however after Saturday’s match they had to prepare for a cup game the following day.
On Sunday the 17th of November the Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters played in the Quarter Finals of the National Cup Competition. Their opponent was the Cardiff Archers who sit on the top of the standings for the EBL. Where one day ended in a victory, the follow ended in defeat. For the first time in fifteen years the Hatters will not be playing the cup finals. On Sunday, they were defeated by the Archers with the final score 83-81.
For the majority of the game the Archers were in control and maintained the lead. However, many times the Hatters fought back to close the gap. In the final seconds remaining the Hatters were only down by 2 points. Coach Vanessa called a timeout to draw a play to get the score. It was a lob pass from side-line out of bounds, from Naylor to Gandy. The pass was successful but the shot was not, and the Hatters lost in their first quarter finals in the clubs history.
Outstanding performances by the Archers, as they had four players in double digits. Top scorer was Jenkins with 23 points. Butters had 16 points and Wagstaff had 19 points. The true hero for the Archers was their floor general, point guard Stephanie Collins, as she ended the match with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
For the Hatters Helen Naylor recorded her season high with 35 points. Stephanie Gandy had an amazing performance as well with 23 points and 8 rebounds in addition to Katie Crowley who had 10 points. Crowley is a seasoned veteran of the team and this year she is playing and practicing with the Hatters on occasion and whenever needed. Thank You Katie!
After a weekend of mixed feelings the ladies of the Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters will have to regroup and move forward. Although they are out of the National Cup, there is still a lot of basketball to be played.
This upcoming weekend the Hatters have a bye and will not be playing, so there is a lot of time for them to improve and grow from this past weekend’s events.