Oaklands Wolves put on a show for national title
- Credit: Archant
Two years of hard work finally paid off as Oaklands Wolves’ U14 basketball side were crowned national champions.
Played over a single weekend, Sheffield Hatters were brushed aside 82-58 in the semi-final before London Youngbloods Lions fell 73-57 in the final.
The final wasn’t a one-way affair despite the suggestions it was from the final score.
The teams had gone into the final quarter tied 48-48 and only an outstanding 25-9 run in that period clinched the title for the St Albans-based club.
Onyi Okoye was awarded the most valuable player award after a 19-point, 19-rebound double-double, her performance in the final the perfect complement to her 28-point, 11-rebound effort in the semi-final.
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However, she preferred to put the spotlight on the whole team after the final, pointing at the togetherness in the group.
She said: “We felt the pressure when we were down in the first three quarters, however, we stayed together as a team and remained focused.
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“We believed we had what it took to win.”
“We piled the pressure on the opposition through our steals, rebounds, free throws and defence and gradually gained momentum to make the comeback and get gold.
“To become champions with such an amazing team, coach and team manager really made the weekend one I’ll never forget.”
Captain Daisy Porter added a stacked stat-line of her own with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists in the championship game.
She said: “We’ve worked so hard as a team and have won as a result of everybody’s effort and attitude. Our relentless approach led us to victory.
“It’s the best feeling ever.”
Head coach Will Twigg said: “Every experience the squad has been through at Oaklands has lead to this title.
“The players stepped up and got it done in key moments, there were so many meaningful individual contributions, but most importantly they did it by holding themselves accountable and taking ownership of the game plan.
“I want to thank the players and parents who made this experience so special and to Steph my team manager for her dedication and keeping me in check.
“This moment will always be special as it’s my first final four.”