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Stars shot down by Wolves

Oaklands Wolves’ men produced their best basketball of the season as they hammered London Stars 86-70 on Saturday.

The result will be a shot in the arm for Faith Karahan’s team as they attempt to avoid relegation from NBL Division Two South and they will now go into Saturday’s game at Westminster Warriors looking to take another step towards safety.

La’Quaren Sayers[pictured] again led the way for the home team, finishing with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Daren Agbonogah came off the bench to score 15 points while Lewis Thurlbourne added 13 points and Callum Johnston had seven rebounds to go with his ten points.

Former Wolf Joshua Smith-White led the visitors with 21 points and six rebounds, and the only disappointment for the hosts was that Sayers’ last second shot failed to connect which meant Stars took the head-to-head decider between the teams by a single point having won by 17 in the capital.

Wolves’ place in Division Two looked to be in serious jeopardy as they trailed 20-13 at the first break, but from then onwards they controlled the game and Simon Patasin’s jump shot saw them cut the deficit to 34-33 going into the half-time break.

Lanre Pratt, who did a fantastic job on Stars’ huge centre, gave the home side the lead with the first score of the second half and with Johnstone and Thurlbourne hitting treys Wolves only briefly trailed before two-from-three Sayers’ foul shooting gave them a 59-53 lead at the final break.

Agbonogah opened the fourth period with a single free-throw, and the lead ballooned to 17 when Johnstone sunk a triple with 3:34 on the clock as Wolves comfortably closed out the win.

In contrast it was a disappointing day for Wolves’ women as they exited the WBBL Trophy at the first stage with a 74-58 loss at Durham Palatinates, on Saturday lunchtime.

Wolves led 15-13 at the first break, and Amy West sent them into the locker room with a 32-24 lead. Lee Ryan’s team led by ten two minutes into the second half when Caterrion Thompson sunk a triple but that was as good as it got as the hosts cut that lead to two at the final break before outscoring Wolves 17-4 in the final five minutes to book a place in the quarter-finals.

West led the visitors with a 12-point, ten rebound double-double, adding five assists, while Thompson also had 12 points, adding five boards.

Wolves’ young women’s Division Two side kept their play-off hopes alive as they thrashed basement side London Thunder 52-27 at Oaklands on Sunday.

The home side only trailed briefly as a 13-2 run at the start of the second half saw them effectively wrap the game up with 15 minutes remaining.

Rosie Porter led the hosts scoring with 16 points and even rebounds. Captain Caitlin Ryan had a 12 -point, 13 rebound double-double, adding five steals, while fellow 16-year-old Lily Harkness and centre Cleo Lewis Gayle each had five points and six boards.

Wolves started slowly but extended an 11-9 first period lead to 24-14 going into the locker room. Whatever coach Claire Abbott said at half-time had the desired effect as Ryan hit two triples in a quick-fire eight personal points as Wolves extended the lead to 34-14 with just two minutes remaining,

The result never looked in doubt again as Wolves completed their first league double of the season.

The men’s second team couldn’t make it a winning day for Wolves as they couldn’t build on a good first period as they went down 81-61 at home against Bedford Thunder.

The hosts led 15-14 at the first break but were outscored 50-29 across the middle two periods to give themselves too much to do in the final quarter.

Larry Clark led the home scoring with 14 point, while Agbonogah added 17 and Ollie Parkin seven.

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