Lee Ryan hails 'terrific' Oaklands Wolves after big win over Nottingham
PUBLISHED: 07:16 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:07 17 January 2019
Lee Ryan was dancing with delight after his Oaklands Wolves side produced a stunning performance to beat Nottingham Wildcats in the WBBL.
After a disappointing showing against BA London Lions seven days earlier, the Oaklands College-based side were in rampant form as they roared to an 89-73 win.
And it was the way they played that left head coach Ryan with a beaming smile at the end.
He said: “Basically everything I said the team needed to show after the last game, they did.
“It was a terrific performance, great attitude and we controlled the game in the second half after building a commanding lead over the fourth-placed team.
“The league says it’s a massive upset but based on our first game against them where we lost by just two points, we knew we could win if we pulled our game plan together and played with belief.”
Star of the show for the Wolves was Tia Freeman whose haul of 24 points together with four assists, four steals and an 82 per cent success rate from the free-throw line, earned her inclusion in the league’s all-star team for the weekend.
She said: “Too many games this season we have not performed for 40 minutes or played to our potential.
“We showed a different intensity and attitude and this reflects the commitment we have been making this season.
“If we can build on performances like this then a play-off spot can still be achieved.
“Personally I have been improving my performances and it was great to show what I’m capable of at this level.”
A tight first quarter was repeated for the majority of the second period until Wolves hit the burners with a 9-0 run giving them a far more comfortable 45-37 half-time advantage.
And they made sure of the win in the third, taking that 10-minute spell by 24 points to 11.
As well as Freeman, Meg Pritchard added 15 points and Anneke Schluter 14.
The result leaves Wolves level on points with both Cardiff Met Archers and Durham Palatinates and just two behind Caledonia Pride in eighth, the final qualifying spot for the play-offs.
And it is their Welsh rivals who head to the Oaklands Sportszone on Sunday at 2pm in what is bound to be another crucial game in the battle to reach the end-of-season party.