Oaklands have bitter-sweet weekend but reaction in Wales leaves Ryan delighted
- Credit: Archant
Lee Ryan had conflicting emotions as Oaklands Wolves began their WBBL Trophy campaign with two very different results.
The head coach had been furious with Saturday’s 94-67 mauling at the hands of Leicester Riders at Oaklands Sportszone so it was sheer delight that greeted their 84-64 win at Cardiff Met Archers less than 24 hours later.
Ryan said: “We have had many ups and downs this season and we’ll continue to chase consistency as a group.
“But the one thing I love about this team is we always react to a challenge.
“We are growing and I’m confident the players will pull it all together and string together a number of high-level performances to close out the regular season.
“We have two Trophy games to start this process and Sunday’s return fixture at Leicester is the perfect opportunity to prove last week’s result was not a true reflection of our team.”
The win in Wales was led by Anneke Schluter who bagged herself 22 points, scoring from seven of her 11 attempts in open play and adding seven more points from eight free-throws.
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Wolves were comfortably in charge in the group game but when Archers cut the gap to eight points with eight minutes remaining, the hosts sensed a possible rescue mission.
But a couple of free-throws and a big triple by Beth Sarson extinguished those prospects.
The match was in complete contrast to Saturday when Wolves were simply blown away by a strong Riders team.
The home side had gone into the contest high on confidence from four wins in five WBBL outings and were hoping to use it as a test of how far they had come.
However, they were unable to stop the Leicester offence from clicking and the visitors bagged more than 20 points in three of the four quarters.
Ryan had blasted his troops after the game.
He said: “We should be in a situation where even against the best teams in the league it should still be a close game.
“We’ve got the players to do it, we’ve got the quality to do it and I believe in them.
“But you can’t not show up because as soon as that happens, we abandon the things we do well and then you’ve got no hope.”