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The weekend preview

It's the final weekend of the season for most of Wolves teams as the NBL regular season comes to a close, while the play-off chase continues for the WBBL team as they host Durham Wildcats at 3pm.

The visit of the Wildcats for a rare afternoon game is a key fixture for Lee Ryan's team as they look to secure a place in the post-season play-offs. With seven league games remaining both teams are tied in ninth spot with 3-10 record, and they are yet to meet in the regular season. Wolves did make the long trip to the north east at the start of 2024, and will be aiming to avenge their 74-58 defeat in the Betty Codona Trophy. Ri Thompson and Amy West joint top scored with 12 points that day, and coach Ryan will be hoping the latter is fit to play after missing the last three games with concussion. 

Lee Davie's Wildcats team will arrive at Oaklands on a high having lifted the British Universities title with a victory against a Loughborough side packed with players from the high-flying Leicester Riders - a win that denied Loughborough a clean sweep in the top two levels of the male and female game. They are led by Harriett Ottewell-Soulsby's 13.9 points per game, and she also adds 6.3 rebounds, while Elle Hendershot is close to averaging a double-double with 9.7 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds.

Tickets are available to book https://tickets.lokkaroom.com/events/55834/oaklands-college-wolves-vs-durham-palatinates with cash admission available on the day.

There's also a key play-off match-up at 5.30pm when Wolves II face Thames Valley Cavaliers II in a battle for the remaining spot in the Women's Division Two post-season. A depleted Wolves team lost 76-71 when the sides met just before Christmas, and Wolves will need to win by six points hope that Cavaliers lose their outstanding league game against Cardiff City to set up a trip to Sheffield Hatters II in the play-offs.

Claire Abbott's team won a thriller 64-62 on the road when the sides met in a National Cup tie at the start of the season, and they will be looking to wrap up a successful season for a side which comprises entirely of academy players and are guaranteed a top half finish in a senior competition. Admission is FREE for this game.

But the action starts early at Oaklands on Saturday as the U-12 boys wrap up a highly successful debut season with a 10am tip-off against Kings Lynn. Michael Ball's team have finished runners-up in Region IV, with their only losses coming against champions MK Breakers, and they will aim to repeat their 79-44 road victory against the Norfolk side.

The U-16 girls are in action against Kingston Wildcats at midday in the first of a weekend double header which also sees a trip to London Thunder. It's been a tough season for the Wolves, with several U-14s "playing up" throughout the campaign. They were unable to raise a team for the trip to Kingston, so this will be the only meeting between the teams, while on Sunday they will look to avenge last week's overtime heartbreaker against Thunder.

There's no lay-in on Sunday morning as both the U-14 girls and U-16 boys are in action at 11.30am before the court is handed over to the Herts Basketball League for the Mick Kirk Cup and Plate finals. 

Allison Day's U-14s wrap up their season with a game against a Reading Rockets side who beat them 70-41 when they met earlier in the season while the U-16 boys will also look for revenge against a True Vision Elite side who won 79-50 when the sides met in January.  Any worries the boys had about playing in the relegation/promotion play-offs were ended midweek when Basketball England awarded them a 20-0 victory against Barking RDF, and they look set to finish the season sitting ninth in East Premier. 

Wolves' two boys conference development sides face contrasting away games to wrap up the season on Sunday, with the U-15s travelling to North Herts Knights U-16 and the U-13a visiting MK Breakers II. Knights were beaten 70-53 when they played at Oaklands earlier in the season, and La'Quarne Sayles' team will look for a double against a side who are destined to finish bottom of the table having won only one of their 15 games. Meanwhile George Walker's U-13s face a Breakers side who have won all 17 games, including a 103-28 victory at Oaklands.

As if that wasn't enough, when the Herts League finals are over, Wolves Academy and Wolves Vets meet in a league game, tipping off 7pm at Oaklands. The youngsters are likely to field mainly first year (U-17s) as they look to repeat their 76-58 victory earlier in the season.         

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