It was a mixed weekend for Wolves’ under-16 sides as the girls returned to the top of the National League South Premier with a thrilling win against Richmond Knights while the boys lost a tight derby game at West Herts Warriors.
With three players missing due to illness and injury, and two starters playing limited minutes due to the flu bug that has swept through the club, Tor Freeman’s girls team faced a tough test against the side who knocked them out of the National Cup but produced an excellent performance to collect their seventh win of the season.
Caitlin Ryan led the way for the home team with a 15-point, 14 rebound double-double, adding seven steals and four assists in a 40-minute performance. Amye Swinney also saw plenty of court time, finishing with a 14-point, ten rebound double-double, adding four assists in 38 minutes. Jemima Uzuko added eight boards and six points while Lily Harkness had nine rebounds to go with her four points.
Knights opened well, rushing into a 6-1 lead before Harkness sparked a 9-0 run to led Wolves into the first break with a four point lead. Eight straight points from Richmond captain Warren saw the visitors regain the lead and and there was little to choose before four Ryan points in a 10-2 run saw Freeman's team take a 29-22 lead into the locker room at half-time.
A 9-2 run to open the second half saw Richmond tie the game and it continued to be close before Tiff Tyson's basket sent Wolves into the final break with a 45-42 lead.
Scores from Uzoka, Swinney and Ryan saw Wolves' lead grow to 51-45 with five minutes remaining , but it was a two-point game heading into the final two minutes Paris Tyson split a pair at the foul line before Dalma Szigeti converted a lay-up to give Wolves a five point lead with a minute on the clock. Knights' Chomoka made a one possession game, and Knights had the ball with 25.1 seconds on the clock when they called a timeout.
It was Ryan who came up with the steal, and with Richmond having only one team foul, they were unable to send Wolves to the charity stripe as they ran down the clock to collect the win.
Meanwhile, another big game from Daniel Kostadinov couldn’t prevent Wolves boys losing 52-49 52-49 at Warriors.
Kostadinov outscored the rest of his team-mates, finishing with 29 points, five rebounds and three assists. Lanre Pratt chalked up another double-double with 13 points and 12 boards, adding four blocks/
Warriors shaded the first half, extending an 11-7 opening quarter lead to 23-18 going into the locker room. A 20-17 third period saw Wolves get within two points but Warriors held on with a 12-11 final stanza to take the victory.