Wolves breathing down necks of Cardiff after second win

Kristina Nagy top-scored for Oaklands Wolves away to London Lions.

Kristina Nagy top-scored for Oaklands Wolves away to London Lions. - Credit: Archant

Oaklands Wolves started a run of four games that coach Lee Ryan says will define their season in the best possible way – by winning their second WBBL game away to BA London Lions.

Oaklands Wolves' Esther Vazquaz. Picture: RAPHAEL AMETRANO

Oaklands Wolves' Esther Vazquaz. Picture: RAPHAEL AMETRANO - Credit: Archant

The 69-63 victory in east London keeps their pre-season hopes of reaching the end-of-year playoffs well and truly alive although this was a gritty, hard-fought win on the road.

It puts them just two points behind eighth-placed Cardiff Met Archers, the last of the available play-off spots.

The run of games includes the Welsh side as well as Durham Palatinates, the side below the Wolves, and the return match against the Lions.

Coach Ryan said: “It was definitely a battle, not the perfect game but the team worked really hard for each other and made some big plays when it mattered.

“That was the first game of four that will go a long way to define our season.

“It was important to get a win and the players should take confidence forward.

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“But we will need to play better next week to beat Durham.”

The turning point of the game in Barking saw the visitors produce a game-deciding 9-0 run mid-way through the final quarter, to turn a single possession game into a double-digit advantage.

The big plus point for the Wolves was their ability to spread the offensive load with nine players getting on the scoresheet and the visitors garnering an impressive 30 points from the bench.

Kristina Nagy led the Wolves’ scoring with 15 points and 2 assists while Ester Vazquaz added an impressive 11 points and 13 rebounds in a double-double off the bench.

Rachel Morris and Lauren Milligan also figured heavily, both scoring 10.

Leading scorers for London were - Christina Gaskin on 16, Tereza Brantlova with 13 and Charlotte Ellmore, 10.

Oaklands two wins this year have both come away from Oaklands College but they will be hoping to delight the home faithful on Saturday.

Like the Lions, Durham are without a win in the campaign so far as they visit Hertfordshire for the first time.

It gives the Wolves another chance to close the gap on Cardiff.

Tip-off at Oaklands College is at 3.45pm.