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Ryan drains game winner

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Caitlin Ryan's jump shot with eight seconds on the clock proved to be the game winners as Oaklands Wolves II won a thriller 58-56 against Bracknell Cobras, on Sunday.

The young Wolves side made hard work of their sixth win in ten NBL Division Two South games this season, letting a 13- point lead late in the second period slip, and they were forced to defend for the final eight seconds before Emma Bush's shot came up short.

Sixteen-year-old Ryan captained a Wolves' side at senior level for the first time and led the hosts with 17 points, eight rebounds and four steals while Stella Ekblad-Piscitelli hit three triples on the way to an 11-point, five rebound afternoon. Rosie Porter had nine points to go with her seven boards, while the visitors were led by 27 points from Bush.

Wolves had looked in control as they closed out the first period on a 12-3 run to lead 18-8, and Ekblad-Piscitelli's free-throws made it 31-18 heading into the final minute of the first half before Ryan gave Wolves a 33-22 lead at the break.

The third period saw Bracknell whittle the lead down, and they closed the gap to 43-38 at the final break before grabbing a 46-45 lead on a three pointer with five minutes remaining.

It was nip and tuck for there on, and Amye Swinney tied the score at 54 with a single free-throw before grabbing the rebound off her miss on the second shot going into the final 16 seconds, and Ryan sealed the win.

There was less good news for Wolves' two men's NBL teams as they went down to contrasting defeats.

A massive 43-point haul from La'Quarn Sayers wasn't enough to prevent a 113-74 Division Two loss at Ipswich while the Division Three side just came up short as they fell to a 90-85 loss against Northampton Mavericks.

Wolves were tied at 19 late in the first period at Ipswich but despite Sayers' biggest night of the season the home team took the lead out to 56-35 at half-time, and comfortably wrapped up the win to leave Wolves going into Sunday's home game against Cardiff (2pm) bottom of the table.

The fans at Oaklands were treated to a pair of thrillers on Sunday afternoon, but Wolves' Division Three side were unable to emulate the women as they were edged out by a Mavs side who had two seven footers in their team.

The hosts only led for 37 seconds of the 40 minutes but, despite seeing coach Dodi Butor ejected with two minutes remaining, had a chance to level the score in the final minute before Northampton wrapped up the win at the foul line.

Captain Dan Kostadinov drained seven three-pointers on the way to a 25point, nine rebound, four assist night, while Hakeem Abubakar had 14 points and Dontel Rose hit four triples to finish with 12 points.

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