La’Quarne Sayles marked his return from injury with a 26-point haul as Wolves won their first Division Two game of the season with an 89-83 victory against Cobham Scorchers.

The visitors arrived at Oaklands chasing a play-off spot, but a Wolves’ side containing eight academy players produced their best performance of the campaign to improve their chances of avoiding relegation.

Sayles added four assists in 35 minutes before leaving the game in the closing stages after being called for a second intentional foul. Spencer Matthews added 18 points while Bill Irvine came off the bench to score four three-pointers on his way to 15 points, adding six assists.

A tight first half saw Wolves fight back from an early double-digit deficit to going into the locker room trailing 46-43.

Matthews and Callum Johnston each hit triples to open a key third period for the hosts, before Abdul Akewushola gave them the first lead of the night, 54-53 with 6:15 on the clock, and the big man scored six straight points to keep Wolves ahead.

Treys from Irvine and Sayles helped Wolves open an 11-point lead, and they went into the final break leading 72-63.

Sayers hit a triple to open the fourth period and Ethan Downing’s lay-up kept the advantage in double figures at the five-minute mark. But the visitors hit back with eight unanswered points before Sayers’ lay-up saw Wolves go into the final three minutes with an 82-77 lead.

Wilding’s lay-up cut that lead to two with 2:17 on the clock before Irvine drained a triple but Sayles second unsportsmanlike foul sparked a wild end to the game with the Wolves’ bench also being called for a technical foul.

AJ Abayomi  managed to miss four straight free-throws for the visitors but  John Stewart hit a pair to take his tally to 34 and make it a two-point game heading in the final 30 seconds, before Irvine and Simon Pattison  wrapped up the win at the foul line.

In contrast the men’s Division Three team went down 97-54 at University of East Anglia.

Under acting coach George Walker, the young Wolves team never recovered from a 29-13 first quarter, despite 19 points from Darren. Armistead and 13 from Daniel Kostadinov

Oaklands Wolves’ Division Two women took the bragging rights as they hammered Herts rivals Stevenage Royals 62-24 on their own court on Saturday.

The visitors’ starting was comprised entirely of players who’ve progressed from the club’s under-12 side and they limited Royals to just eight points in the second half on the way to their biggest victory of the season.

Even without coach Claire Abbott and centre Cleo Lewis-Gayle, Wolves were always in charge as couple of early Rosie Porter threes helped them to a 16-10 first period lead.

The game really opened up in the second period as Porter and Caitlin Ryan scored from downtown, and Wolves outscored the hosts 20-6 to lead by 20 at half-time.

Royals went nine minutes without scoring in the third period as an 11-4 run ended the game as a contest before Wolves wrapped things up with a 15-4 final quarter.

Porter led all scorers with 17 points and four steals while Ryan had a 15 point, 12 rebound double-double, adding five steals. Stella Ekblad-Piscetelli had eight boards to go with her nine points as Wolves moved up to fourth place in WNBL Division Two South.

Herts Advertiser: Shaquera Wade of Oaklands Wolves. Picture: TOBY GASTALDI-DAVIES/TGD VISUALSShaquera Wade of Oaklands Wolves. Picture: TOBY GASTALDI-DAVIES/TGD VISUALS (Image: Toby Gastaldi-Davies/TGD Visuals)

Meanwhile Wolves’ WBBL play-off hopes took a knock as a disastrous third period saw them go down 92-74 at Manchester Giants.

The visitors trailed by a single point at the first break but a strong second quarter capped by a pair of Shaquera Wade free throws saw them lead 40-37 going into the locker room.

That proved to be the final time Wolves led in the game as only Wade’s layup troubled the scorers in the first five minutes of the second half and they were outscored 32-14 in the third quarter and had no way back in the final stanza.

Wade led Lee Ryan’s team with 19 points while Allison Day had 14 in a day Wolves will want to put behind them as they go into the international break.

Herts Advertiser: Oaklands Wolves U16 girls. Picture WOLVES BALLOaklands Wolves U16 girls. Picture WOLVES BALL (Image: Oaklands Wolves Basketball)

Elise Beardsworth hit the game winner with just six seconds on the clock as Wolves U16 girls came back from 17 points down to beat Reading Rockets 51-49.

It was a thrilling end to the weekend's action at Oaklands as Jorja Smith's team emulated the men's Division Two team by collecting their first win of the season in stunning fashion.

A Wolves side again fielding several under-14 players looked dead and buried as they trailed 26-9 at the first break, and they could only chop three points off that deficit to trail 36-22 at half-time.

But a 17-6 third period put them back in the game, and Jane Yu put them ahead by two in the final 90 seconds before Rockets levelled the score to set up the grandstand finish.

The younger girls weren't able to emulate the U16s with a pair of heavy defeats.

The U12s travelled to Solent Kestrels with only six players and lost 65-21, with Rose Marsh scoring eight points and Ruby Meekings six.

Northants Thunder brought their full U14 NBL side for an East Development League game on Sunday, and a Wolves side made up of U12 and U14 players went down 78-41 having trailed 20-0 after five minutes.

Evie Garvin led the hosts with 12 points, with Marsh adding seven.

Herts Advertiser: Zac Butterworth of Oaklands Wolves. Picture: WOLVES BALLZac Butterworth of Oaklands Wolves. Picture: WOLVES BALL (Image: Oaklands Wolves Basketball)

There was also success for the U14 boys as an early start in East London on Sunday didn't stop them defeating Baltic Stars II 87-83 to keep up their play-off hopes in the NBL Premier.

Zac Butterworth lead the way for Ibrahim Gariba's side with 28 points as they survived a poor second period to stay in fifth place in the eastern section .

Wolves U12s maintained their title push as they returned from Cambridge with a 64-45 victory. Michael Ball's team did most of the damage in the first half, leading 21-7 at the first break and going into half-time with a commanding 39-15 lead to have the game effectively wrapped up. Manuel Garcia-Peris (300 and Alex Cofone (12) led the visitors' scoring.

It was tougher going for the U16s who suffered a 92-43 home loss against Brentwood Fire as they never recovered from a 31-9 first period deficit.

The U15 boys also tasted defeat as they went down 66-45 at West Herts III despite Jacob Edrupt finishing with 13 points, six rebounds, as many steals and three assists. Miss 15 of their 18 free-throw attempts proved to be a problem for the visitors. Jeremy Akpan added ten points and eight rebounds in his final game before moving up to the U-16s.

The U13s found high-flying Bedford Thunder U14s simply too big and athletic as they went down 102-54, with veteran duo Rocky Starr and Alex Ryan each finishing with 12 points.