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It's crunch time for Oaklands Wolves as they look to move towards a British League play-off spot when they host Essex Rebels on Saturday, 6pm.

Wolves are expecting a capacity crowd as they reduced to tickets to £1 each, and can be booked here Oaklands College Wolves vs Essex Rebels - Lokkaroom - Tickets

Following Saturday's 71-67 loss at Newcastle Eagles, Lee Ryan's team need to beat fifth placed Rebels to keep up their hopes of a place in the post-season.

Rebels, who will include former Oaklands forward Tia Freeman in their team are fifth in the WBBL table with nine wins from 17 games and need one more victory from their final three games to seal a top five spot.

Katherine Tudor leads the Colchester-based side with 17.4 points per game while Darcy Kay Rees averages a 13.6 point, 12.9 rebound double-double. When the sides met at Essex Arena in November an 18-point, ten rebound Shaq Wade double wasn't enough to prevent Wolves losing 92-77. 

A poor fourth period proved costly as Wolves went down to a narrow loss at Newcastle on Saturday evening, with the visitors being outscored 21-11 in the final frame. Wolves led by as many as 11 four minutes into the second half, but another 20-point haul from Ri Thompson couldn't prevent a loss against one of their rivals for a place in the play-offs.  

The hosts led by six midway through the first period but Allison Day got Ryan's team moving and three-pointers from Claire Abbott and Beth Sarson saw them take a 24-18 lead into the first break.

Wolves never trailed in the second frame with day and Thompson doing most of their scoring, and it was the latter who hit a jump shot to give them a 39-34 lead going into the locker room at half-time.

Wade opened the second half scoring, and a pair of Day jump shots saw Wolves' lead peak at 45-34 with 90 seconds to go, and although the hosts kept in touch, Thompson's and-one saw Oaklands lead 56-50 at the final break.

Day extended the advantage with the first score of the fourth period but Wolves' offence dried up as they went four minutes without the scoreboard moving allowing Eagles to reel off eight straight points and tie the game.                   

Day restored the lead before Sarson hit another trip to put Wolves 65-60 up with three minutes remaining Thompson made it a seven-point game with 2:23 on the clock. But that was the final time Wolves would score as Abi Lowe's triple launched an 11-0 run which gave Eagles the win.  

Thompson narrowly missed out on a double-double with nine rebounds, while Day had 16 points and eight boards before fouling out. Sarson finished with 11 points while Amy West had 12 rebounds to go with her four points.



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Oaklands Wolves U-12 girls swept all before them as they competed in a competition run by the Women's British Basketball League in Nottingham on Saturday.

Coached by George Walker, the young Wolves won all five games against teams from other WBBL clubs to collect the gold medals at Wildcats Arena.

Wolves made the perfect start to the tournament, which saw 15-minute running clock games, and with Martha Riley shooting well at the foul line, they defeated hosts Nottingham Wildcats 11-2.

The second game proved to be Wolves' tightest of the tournament, but with Francesca Scott's defence setting up Elisabeth Whittaker for lay-ups, Leicester Riders were beaten 11-3.

Game three proved to be one-way traffic as Ruby Meekings and Grace Betteridge caused Cardiff Archers all kinds of problems, and although Wolves too their full-court press off once they held a comfortable lead Lilly Gray's step back jumper completed a 23-3 victory.

The final group game saw Wolves face a Sheffield Hatters side who were also unbeaten in the group stage, but the most successful club in British basketball history had no answer to the Oaklands press as they struggled to inbound the ball. Some good jump shots from Taelyn Benn-Wright and Evie Garvin proved crucial but it was Wolves defence which stiffled the Yorkshire side as  Oaklands ran out 17-0 winners.

That proved to be a dress rehearsal for the final and after a lot of complaining from the Hatters coaching staff about Wolves playing proper defence it was agreed not to press.

Having played under the proper BE rules all season, Wolves initially found it difficult to contain their dribble penetration  but their players fixed those problems for themselves and on offence they didn't miss a beat. Rose Marsh scored on multiple possessions to start the game and steady the nerves with Oaklands winning out 17-12 winners.  

Wolves' squad 0 Francesca Scott  1 Grace Betteridge. 2 Elisabeth Whittaker. 3 Martha Riley. 5 Lilly Gray. 8 Rose Marsh. 9 Evie Garvin. 12 Ruby Meekings. 13 Taelyn Benn-Wright

There were mixed results for the U-14 girls as they started a mini development tournament on Sunday.

The opening game saw Woking Blackhawks win a thriller 47-46, with the game going down to the last shot. Blackhawks then dismantled Braintree Blue Devils 60-16 before Wolves completed a miserable day for the Essex team with a 61-28 victory.


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There was play-off disappointment for Wolves U-14 boys as they went down 79-67 at Sussex Storm 

Ibrahim Gariba's side had a 11 point lead at one stage in the game, but the hosts fought back to move a step closer to the Final Four in Manchester.


Wolves first five points in foul strewn game came at the charity stripe as Zac Butterworth and Albert Dye helped the make a good start before Sam Mcree tied the game at 13 going into the first break. 

Six Titouan Vimeux points helped Wolves open a 29-18 lead with 3:37 left in the first half but the hosts reduced that lead to 30-29 going into the half-time break and a strong third period saw Storm lead 55-46 at the end of the third period.

Vimeux hit back=o-back treys, and converted a free-throw for a four-point play, to drag Wolves back into the game as they trailed 69-64 with 2:10 on the clock, but that was as good as it got as Storm sealed the game at the foul line.

Vimeux had 16 points before fouling out down the stretch while Dye added 13. Mcree and Liam Schertel both finished with double-doubles, the former having 12 points and ten boards while the latter having ten rebounds and as many points.  

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