Wolves U-14 girls wrapped up their NBL season in style with a 63-33 home victory against Essex Rebels, on Saturday.
Playing on the show court as the warm-up act for the senior men's Great Escape, Wolves never looked back after a 16-6 first period and finished the season with four wins from their final five games to clinch fifth spot in East 1.
Although Rebels pegged them back to 27-21 going into the locker room at half-time, a 22-11 third period saw the game almost sewn up at the final break. Coach Ibrahim Gariba was able to give his younger players plenty of court time in the final period as Wolves outscored the visitors 17-4 to end the competitive season on a winning note.
Chloe Chan led the hosts with 23 points, while Lucy Conlan added 20 and captain Sophie Walsh 15.
In contrast, it was a bittersweet weekend for the U-16 girls who went down to 76-61 against Premier South champions Ipswich on Saturday before London Lions' home win against Sussex Storm the following day saw them seal fourth place in the table and a place in the play-offs.
Successful free-throws from Caitlin Ryan and Lily Harkness saw Wolves take an early lead before the home side got into gear and despite triples from Dalma Szigeti and Harkness – the latter rolling around the rim before beating the buzzer – the 28-17 lead into the first break.
The second period saw the visitors stem the offensive barrage to an extent, but despite two treys from Tiff Tyson, Ipswich took a 48-33 advantage into the locker room at half-time.
To their credit, Wolves didn’t fold against the division’s most potent offence in the second half, and with Ryan hitting 12 straight Wolves’ points including a pair of threes Ipswich only added a point to the lead in third period, going into the final break 63-47 ahead.
As the home side attempted to seal the head-to-head series between the teams (Wolves won by 15 at Oaklands), Paris Tyson opening the fourth period scoring, and triples from Ryan and Malia Lawal ensured the visitors shaded the final period 14-13.
Ryan led Wolves with a 21-point, 11 rebound double-double, adding six steals, while Tiff Tyson had ten points and four steals. Szigiti had five boards and four steals to go with her nine points, while Harkness, Amye Swinney and Paris Tyson had five points apiece.
Wolves complete their regular season campaign with a trip to Luton on Sunday morning.