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Close losses for women's teams

Both of Wolves' women's teams went close to producing upset victories over the weekend with the British Basketball League team losing 79-73 at second place Leicester Riders and the young WNBL Division Two team being edged out 67-60 at home by leaders Cobham Cobras.

Coach Lee Ryan was again without bigs Amy West and Julia Koppl, but Miriam Carrasco-Menendez  returned and he gave academy guard Amy Swinney a WBBL debut.  

Caterrion Thompson opened the scoring , but Riders controlled much of the first period to lead 21-15 before Wolves burst into life in the second period.  Thompson scored a basket either side of three-from-three foul shooting by Carrasco-Menendez, before triples from Thompson and Carrasco-Menendez gave Wolves their first lead since the opening minutes.

Thompson continued to terrorise the hosts, with Amu Day also getting in on the act with five points before back-to-back Shaq Wade baskets gave the visitors a 43-36 lead heading into the half-time.

Allison Day opened the second half scoring to keep Wolves ahead by eight but the hosts gradually worked their way back into the game and Oaklands only led briefly during the final five minutes of the third period  following a Jorjah Smith triple.

Smith collected her fourth foul of the game when she was called for an intentional, but some tough defence and a Thompson basket cut Riders' lead to 56-54 going into the final break,

Claire Abbott hit a triple to put Wolves up with the first play of the fourth period, but was the final time they were to lead. Smith's triple made it a two-point game again heading into teh final four minutes but the hosts held on to wrap up the win.

Thompson led all scorers with 25 points, adding four steals and three rebounds, with Day adding 16 points and five boards. Wade had five assists to go with her 11 points and four rebounds.

The following day the Wolves academy team came up just short against Cobras before suffering a loss that effectively ends their post-season play-off hopes. Abbott's team trailed by 14 points heading into the final five minutes of the game but got within five points before the promotion hopefuls wrapped things up at the foul line.

A pair of Swinney baskets helped Wolves take a 9-7 advantage after five minutes but the visitors took control 15-2 run to lead 22-12 at the first break and extended that advantage to 38-25 going into the locker room at half-time.

Wolves trimmed the deficit to 51-42 but in a fourth period where Ryan (10) and Swinney (8) did all scoring, the visitors managed to take enough time off the clock to force the hosts to stop the clock by fouling down the stretch, and Cobham chalked up their 16th league victory in 17 games.

Ryan finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists while Swinney had 14 points and three boards. Rosie Porter added eight points, with Lily Harkness and Ella Brown getting six apiece.

With only 14 players available for two games, Wolves' two senior men's teams both produced good first half performances before predictably fading in the second half.

The Division Two side's hopes of repeating their early season victory against Cobham Scorchers were still alive at half-time as they only tailed by ten points, but the hosts piled on the points to win 109-83.

Wolves only trailed by two going into the first break and were still in touch at half-time as the hosts led 55-42. But a 35-18 third period effectively sewed up the victory for the hosts before the short-handed Wolves reduced the final arrears with a 23-19 final frame.

In the absence of leading scorer La'Quarne Sayers, Jack Davies and Oliver Rudinski each scored 20 points, with Siman Patisin adding 18.

Four first period three-pointers from captain Dan Kostsdinov helped keep Wolves in touch in the Division Three game against Cambridge Cats, but the visitors extended the lead to 54-38 at half-time before wrapping up a 105-75 victory with a strong second half.

Kostsdinov finished with seven treys in his game-high 24 point, ten rebound double-double. All of the top three scorers came through the Wolves’ junior section, with Dontel Rose adding 18 points and five rebounds while Larry Clark finished with 12 points.

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