• Oaklands Wolves

Wolves face a tough test as they go in search of their victory of the season with a trip to Thames Valley Cavaliers on Saturday evening.


The Cavaliers were something of a bogey team for Wolves' predecessors, Leopards, as they won all eight meetings over the last three seasons. The Uxbridge-based side were promoted alongside Leopards in 2018, and have spent heavily in their two years in the top flight - a decision that was rewarded with the runners-up spot in Division One last season.


Their success has continued this season, winning the Oaklands-hosted group of the L Lynch Trophy thanks to Lewis Champion's massive three on the buzzer to give them a 86-83 win against Hemel Storm having beaten Wolves 102-74 in their opening game of the campaign. They have played only one league game, returning from Leicester Warriors with a 90-67 victory last week,


Wolves coach Thomas Baker is looking forward to his side's first away game of the season: "It's been a good week of practice," he said. "We have continued to grow as a unit and have taken positive steps towards the type of team we want to be.

"We know Thames Valley are going to be tough opposition having faced them already in the L Lynch Trophy, but we are looking forward to testing ourselves them."

  • Oaklands Wolves

Wolves' coach Thomas Baker had praise for his side's youngsters despite a 95-63 loss against neighbours Hemel Storm, on Saturday.

The home side held the big-spending visitors scoreless for more than five minutes to open the fourth period and finished on a 12-0 run to leave Baker pleased with a good finish:

"It was great being back out on the floor with the guys, another step on the journey that this new programme is going on" he said. "Credit to Hemel, we knew they would be tough and they proved their quality throughout the game. I was extremely impressed with a number of the college guys, they stepped up and demonstrated what it means to be part of this team."


Jordan Santiago led Wolves with 24 points nine rebounds and five steals, while Oaklands Academy graduate Ahmed Ketiri added eight points, five rebounds three, blocks and two assists. American pair Mike Williams (27 points and four rebounds) and Greg Poleon (18 points and eight boards) led the visitors.


Although captain Santiago twice levelled in the early stages, it was one-way traffic for much of the first three periods as Storm showed why they are one of the favourites for the league title. Despite treys from Santiago and James Cummings, it took a late basket from the latter to cut Hemel's led 26-16 at the opening break.

Youngsters Kane Daley and Ollie Wright along with Santiago both scored from downtown in the second period but Storm hit four three-points as they outscored Wolves 30-14 to lead 56-30 going into the locker room.


The onslaught continued in the third period as they opened with a 16-2 run, Santiago the only home player to trouble the scorer, and although Ray Akpofure capped an 8-2 tear following a lovely Ketiri assist, before Ketiri hit a triple, Storm went into the final break leading 83-43.

Daley launched a strong fourth period for Wolves as they scored the first eight points of the quarter before a pair of Jack Burnell treys in a 10-0 Storm run took the visitors' lead to 42 points before Oaklands finished strongly with Ketiri launching the 12-2 run as a young lineup finished well.

  • Oaklands Wolves

Beth Sarson has made the switch from Essex Rebels to Oaklands Wolves for the reminder of the 2020-21 season.


Sarson, who is a Hertfordshire native, is returning home and will suit up for Oaklands in what will be her third spell at the club. Having previously studied at Oaklands as an academy athlete from 2013, she returned to the club after her time in US college in 2017 for her debut in the WBBL. Sarson last played for Oaklands in the 2018-19 campaign before switching to Essex Rebels.


In the 2019-20 season, playing for the Rebels, Sarson had a strong season averaging 8.2 points, 2.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds. The 5’7 guard returns to add depth to Oaklands competitive back court, something the player is relishing “I'm really excited to be back home, Oaklands is a special place for me! It keeps getting stronger here every year, I have seen that since coming through as a junior, and this is the deepest squad yet. I'm looking forward to suiting up again as a Wolf."


Coach Lee Ryan is looking forward to continuing his long standing relationship with the energetic guard “When we got the call that Beth was looking to return home it was an easy and immediate decision to have her back on the team. Beth brings energy and enthusiasm to every program she is on; add to that her shooting ability and tenacious work ethic at both ends of the floor and we have gained someone that will make an instant impact. Her game developed last season at Essex, I think she rediscovered some confidence and reminded herself how fearless she can be on the basketball court, something I am looking forward to seeing for the remainder of this season.”


Sarson will look to make her debut in the cup game against Cardiff tomorrow Saturday 21st November at 1.30pm. The game will be streamed live on the WBBL YouTube channel.

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