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Spencer drains buzzer-beater

Updated: Mar 12

Spencer Matthews drained a buzzer-beating three-pointer as Oaklands Wolves men won a thriller 91-88 against Ipswich, on Saturday.

Wolves had forced a stop at the other end to give them the ball with under two seconds on the clock, and Mathews received the ball at half court from Bill Irvine before draining a massive triple from well outside the three-point line to seal the victory.

The young Wolves have had a tough season in NBL Division Two South, but in their penultimate game of the campaign they produced probably their best basketball of the year, pouring in 33 first period points and recovering from a poor third period to spark wild celebrations at the end.

Captain La'Quarne Sayles- at 21, Wolves' senior player - followed his 43 points in November's loss in Ipswich with a 33-point, five assist, four rebound display, while Irvine had four assists and three boards to go with his 19 points. Tega Adbede had 12 points, three assists and as many rebounds while Matthews had four assists along with ten points.

Irvine had three triples in the first period as Wolves' up-tempo game caused the visitors problems and they took a 33-22 lead as Sayles managed three three-point plays in the second quarter as the lead grew to 56-43 at half time.

The third period proved to be a painful one for the home fans as Wolves were outscored 29-17, and although Oliver Rudzinski hit a triple to put them up by four in the closing stages, Arron Williams - who played at Oaklands during the final months of Leopards' tenure - hit a jump shot to cut the hosts' lead to 73-72 at the final break. 

The fourth period was nip and tuck throughout and Lee Hodges, another former Leopard, turned the ball over with 26 seconds on the clock as Wolves coach Faith Karahan called a timeout. Sayles also turned the ball over but Fleming missed with a jump shot to set up the grandstand finish.

Wolves will look to wrap up the season in similar style when they host Westminster Warriors, tip-off 6pm, with tickets priced just £1 each from http://www.oaklandsbasketball.com.

It was also a tight game at Nottingham, but Wolves' women couldn't make it a winning day as they were edged out 85-80 by the hometown Wildcats.

After leading 25-18 at the first break a Wolves team still missing centre Amy West never really found their rhythm again as the visitors cut that advantage to one point at half-time before taking a 61-57 lead into the final quarter.

The game looked over with 2:13 on the clock as Wildcats opened an 82-70 advantage, but triples from Ri Thomson and Jorjah Smith made it a four point game before Shaq Wade's lay-up halved that deficit with 30 seconds on the clock. But that was as close as Lee Ryan's team came as they were forced to foul to stop the clock, and Nottingham wrapped up the win at the foul line.

Wade led Wolves with 20 points, four rebounds and three assists while Thompson added five assists and as many rebounds to her 18 points. In West's absence, Fabienne Zere finished with ten points.

Wolves academy side own the Hertfordshire bragging rights in WNBL Division Two South as as they completed a double over Stevenage Royals with a 61-29 victory, having also beaten Hemel Storm home and away

Claire Abbott's team produced a strong second half to limit the visitors to just five points. Abbott gave all of her roster court time in the first half as they prepare for their academy League play-off at Manchester on Wednesday before they took control after the break and half Royals scoreless for more than 11 minutes at one stage.

Wolves led 19-9 at the first break but were pegged back to 28-24 at half-time. They took a double-digit lead into the final break after an 11-3 third period before wrapping things up with a 22-2 final frame.

Caitlin Ryan again led the scoring with 11 points, adding eight steals, seven assists and four rebounds, while Amye Swinney contributed ten points and four boards. Ella Brown chipped in with eight points while Cleo Lewis-Gayle marked her return from injury with eight rebounds and six points.

Wolves D3 men also produced an encouraging performance before losing 104-87 against UAE Panthers.

Captain Dan Kostadinov led by example with six triples on his way to a 24 point, six rebound game, while Irvine completed a good weekend with 30 points and four assists. Daren Rohi also had 24 points and pulled down a massive 15 rebounds for an impressive double-double.

After a slow start Wolves recovered to trail only 22-19 at the first break but the visitors pulled away to lead 53-43 at half-time and wrapped up the win with 21-20 third quarter and a 30-24 final frame.  

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