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Tournament success for under-16s

Oaklands Wolves under-16s came out on top as they staged two pre-season tournaments on Sunday.

Both the boys and the girls recorded narrow victories against old rivals Richmond Knights in a pair of thrilling finals.

Tor Freeman’s girls side were in semi-final action first as they faced CoLA Southwark Pride, and never looked back after a 10-2 first period and a 1n 18-11 third period paved the way for a 40-25 victory. Stella Piscitelli led the scoring for the hosts with 10 points and six rebounds in the reduced length game, while Amye Swinney added eight.

The final saw Wolves overcome a slow start as they trailed 17-11 after the first eight minutes and were still 40-36 at the final break. Lilith Harkness tied the score at 50 with 1:51 on the clock before Dalma Szigeti scored the go-ahead basket to send Wolves into the final 40 seconds with a two point lead. Caitlin Ryan doubled the lead at the foul line before blocking Knights’ final shot to seal a 54-50 victory.

Ryan led Wolves with 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds, with Swinney adding ten points and six boards, while Harkness had eight points.

Wolves boys also had a comfortable victory in the semi-final as they led from tip-to-buzzer to beat Kent Crusaders 59-48. Lanre Pratt and Daniel Kostadinov led a balanced Wolves’ scoring effort with 12 and 11 points respectively.

The final saw Wolves take a 12-10 lead into the first break but a strong second period saw Knights lead 29-19 at half-time. A 15-10 third quarter halved that deficit before a dominant final eight minutes saw the visitors limited to just three points as Oaklands ran out 46-41 winners.

Kostadinov produced the performance of the day as he drained four triples on his way to 22 points and eight rebounds, while Pratt had 13 rebounds to go with his eight points.

The under-16 girls were also in action on Saturday as they face a Manchester Mystics side who went on to finish third in Sunday’s tournament. Ryan and Swinney led the way with 16 and 14 points respectively as Wolves ran out 66-50 winners against a young Mystics side.

The under-14 girls made their season debut and a close game saw visitors Cambridge Cats score the final five points in the last 20 seconds to win 41-36. Lucy Conlan led Ibrahim Gariba’s side with 11 points.

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