Wolves burned by Suns but plenty of cause for optimism down Oaklands way
PUBLISHED: 17:28 14 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:28 14 October 2017
After the baptism of fire of year one in the Women’s British Basketball League, Oakland Wolves came into their second season looking for improvements.
An 88-42 loss to Sevenoaks Suns might suggest that any changes for the better are a long way off yet but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate.
This new-look Wolves side played with plenty of passion and were more than a match at times for the unbeaten Kent side.
Better luck in front of the net may have made for a closer contest.
And certainly the big crowd inside the Oaklands College arena seemed to agree, making plenty of noise in support of the young squad.
But Suns aren’t champions for nothing and in the end their extra know-how took them to the win.
They led 22-15 in the first quarter and had stretched that to 36-24 by the half-time break.
The game was finally killed off with a run of 13 unanswered points at the start of the second half but the noise kept coming from the home fans, ramped up when Wolves finally started to find some momentum.
And they were in desperate need of that support as Suns were relentless.
They took the third quarter 30 points to eight, to open up a 34-point gap and looked in no mood to take their foot of the gas.
But Wolves showed no signs of being drained of confidence and they stood toe-to-toe with the champs for the final 10 minutes.
Indeed it was only the final three minutes where any sort of a gap was finally forged.
The progression though is there.
The likes of Lizzie Harrison and Aliz Varga have helped overcome the loss of last year’s captain Kyla Nelson.
And there are others.
Rachel Morris chipped in with points while new skipper Kellie Ring and Lauren Milligan were driving forces.
Off the court the amount of kids throwing balls at the nets in the breaks and at the end, together with the number of spectators watching on give cause for hope.
Basketball at this level may still be in its infancy in St Albans, and indeed Hertfordshire, but there is enough to convince even the grumpiest of viewers that they are moving in the right direction.
They won’t always come up against a team in such fine form like Sevenoaks and that first win will come soon enough.
And when it does the noise it will generate will make its mark.
It would be worth checking out.
Oaklands Wolves: Ring, Morris, Milligan, Harrison, Varga, Nagy, Sarson, Freeman, Lee, Belsham, Fulop, Brown, Vazquaz
Sevenoaks Suns: Carr, Clarke, Fritz, Pressley, Kopl, Lewis, Busch, Watkins, Munns
Box Scores: 15-22; 24-36; 32-66; 42-88