St Albans Wolves star as Herts take East Region title

Herts under-15s celebrate their East Region win

Herts under-15s celebrate their East Region win - Credit: Dave Ryan

St Albans Wolves provided the bulk of the Herts County U-15 Girls team who became champions of the Basketball England East Region with a 25-18 victory against Suffolk on Sunday.

Coach Albert Ziwa and captain Caitlin Ryan were joined by club-mates Lily Harkness, Tiffany and Paris Mitchell-Tyson, Dalma Szgeti, Zoe Gollop, Maliya Lawal, Jemima Uzoka, Darcy Judge and Jess Stocks – and with former Wolf Grace Clark in the team, there was only one player without any links to the Oaklands-based club in the squad.

With six teams split into two groups of three and after sitting out the first game Herts dominated the fourth period of their opening match to beat Bedfordshire 33-15. 

Harkness led the scoring with eight points, four rebounds and three steals, while Tiffany Mitchell-Tyson, Szgeti, Ryan and Maliya all chipped in with four points in the short-format games.

The second group game saw a comfortable 36-10 victory against Cambridgeshire as Wolves never looked back after rushing into a 12-0 lead. 

Ryan’s 11 points, seven rebounds and five steals led Ziwa’s team, while Tiffany Mitchell-Tyson added six points and Harkness had five points and as many boards.

The final saw Herts up against a Suffolk side comprised solely of Ipswich players, who had also breezed through the group stage with wins against Essex and Norfolk. 

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It proved to be the best game of the tournament as there was never more than four points between the teams in the opening three periods and they headed into the fourth period tied at 16. 

Suffolk opened the scoring in the final frame but after that it was all Wolves as they scored the final nine points of the game to lift the trophy.

Ryan led the scoring with eight points and as many assists, plus five steals, while Harkness finished with six points and five boards and Uzoka chipped in with five points.

Herts U-15 boys couldn’t emulate their clubmates’ success as they had to settle for third place at St John Payne Catholic School in Chelmsford.

Alex Riley, Ben Hodges, Daniel Kostadinov and Dontel Rose, together with former team-mate Larry Clark, helped Herts beat Bedfordshire but they lost to eventual winners Cambridgeshire before beating Norfolk to take the bronze.