Wolves improving but coach admits it will take more time

PUBLISHED: 15:30 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:35 19 October 2017

Oaklands Wolves' Kellie Ring feels the pressure as she drives to the hoop. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

Oaklands Wolves' Kellie Ring feels the pressure as she drives to the hoop. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

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Improvement is the name of the game for Oaklands Wolves as their second season in the Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) continues.

Rachel Morris shoots for Oaklands Wolves against Sevenoaks Suns. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO Rachel Morris shoots for Oaklands Wolves against Sevenoaks Suns. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

Their first outing at the pinnacle of the sport in this country was a baptism of fire but they believe in the work they are doing at the Oaklands College-based club.

And the required improvements may seem a long way off after Saturday’s heavy 88-42 loss to last year’s champions Sevenoaks Suns but even in defeat there was enough to be positive about.

The big difference between the sides came in the third quarter, which saw Wolves outscored 30-8.

It frustrated head coach Lee Ryan but he knows there is more to come from his young squad.

Esther Vazquez attempts a long shot for Oaklands Wolves. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO Esther Vazquez attempts a long shot for Oaklands Wolves. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

He said: “We did a really good job in the first half. We dug a bit of a hole in the first quarter but did a great job of holding them to six points until the last two minutes of the second.

“At half-time the players understood the difference when they looked competitive and when they did what we wanted to do.

“But they came out for the second half and were flat.

“We spoke about it at the end and at this level in a professional league you can’t do that.

“We’ve got to continue to educate them, continue to work and make sure we don’t dig ourselves into too deep a hole that we can’t get out.

“There’s still positive things though and there’s still more to come. It’s a good group but it’s going to take an investment in time.

“For us it’s not about these first few games, it’s about what we look like as we move through the season and what we look like in the return fixtures against these teams later in the year.”

Next up is a road trip to Caledonia Pride on Saturday and Team Northumbria on Sunday with the next game at home coming on November 4 against Leicester Riders.

And the hope is they can build on a big positive from Saturday, the size of the crowd.

“We went down to Garden Fields during the week and some of the kids were here,” said Ryan.

“That’s what we want to see. We want to see the community here, we want to build it.

“We’re going to have moments where we are down and when we need the sixth man, the crowd, to pick us back up.

“And there were moments when we heard the crowd today. So we want to fill this place out.”

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