WBBL: Oaklands Wolves lose their way at home to Newcastle
PUBLISHED: 19:18 14 December 2019 | UPDATED: 19:22 14 December 2019
Oaklands Wolves fell to a fourth Women's British Basketball League loss of the season as they went down to a 96-69 loss to Newcastle Eagles.
Most games this season for Oaklands College-based basketball side are a learning curve. They are a young side with a lot of them still finding their way in the cut-throat world of the WBBL, the top-flight for women's basketball in this country.
But this was a frustrating afternoon for the home side's support and management where it was clear that there was a lot of work across the tactical, technical and mental spectrums that needs work.
And it didn't help that this was definitely a game where they could and should have been a lot closer.
There was a moment in the second quarter, with just over two minutes played, where Oaklands pinged the ball from one corner of the court to the other in one quick movement, ending with a superb three-point shot from Anneke Schlueter to give them a 30-26 lead.
It was superb and had the Sportszone on their feet in loud vocal acknowledgement of their team.
Nobody would have thought that would have pretty much the last time they had anything to smile about, certainly for the rest of the half.
Only six more points followed in the rest of the quarter for the Wolves and the Eagles took full advantage to stretch into a 16-point lead by the big break.
The start to that second quarter had followed a strong finish to the first and at that point the game was still very much in the balance.
Newcastle may have arrived in St Albans sitting in the top four in the league but the young home side were scrapping well, still not playing anywhere near their best, but keeping their noses in it.
They trailed by just two points after Claire Abbot drained a three but the wheels came off in a hurry after the promising opening to Q2.
There were plenty of stern faces that re-emerged from the dressing room after half-time and it appeared the reaction would be a good one when a long Lauren Milligan pass gave Schlueter an easy two 31 seconds in.
And for the most part there was a bit more heart and a bit more fight.
But they still struggled defensively to get a stop, meaning the Eagles regularly returned from the Oaklands half of the court with points.
It meant the gap grew too, 21 by the end of quarter three,
There are always positives to take from any contest and there were moments to be pleased with.
But this squad needs to find a way to get more of them on a far more consistent basis. They need to be stronger, tougher and take the game to their opposition regardless of who they are.
There is talent there which makes games like this even more frustrating.
Q1: Oaklands Wolves 21 Newcastle Eagles 23
Q2: Oaklands Wolves 36 Newcastle Eagles 52
Q3: Oaklands Wolves 58 Newcastle Eagles 79
Q4: Oaklands Wolves 69 Newcastle Eagles 96
Oaklands Wolves: Anneke Schlueter 19, Lizzy Harrison 19, Claire Abbott 11, Josie Leavold 6, Louise Rouse 6, Lauren Milligan 4, Kata Fulop 2, Elyse Kiplocks 2.
Newcastle Eagles: Mante Kvederaviciute 31, Georgia Ohrdorf 24, Lisa Koop 20, Anja Fuchs-Robetin 15, Rachael Bland 6.