Oaklands Wolves became the latest team to fail to stop the London Lions juggernaut as they went down 95-64 in the Women’s British Basketball League on Saturday.
The capital side had lost just once since the end of the 2020/21 regular season and had lifted the last nine pieces of silverware available, but Wolves traded blows with them in the first half and only trailed 46-34 at half-time.
A Caterrion Thompson triple helped keep the deficit at 11 with four second half minutes gone, but Lions’ strength in depth proved to be the difference down the stretch as they continued their winning run.
In front of a big crowd, Thompson continued her high-scoring season by leading Lee Ryan’s team with 19 points and five rebounds, while Allison Day also had five boards to go with her 12 points.
Wolves travel to Manchester Giants on Sunday where they will look to keep up their play-off push in a game between the two sides who share seventh spot in the WBBL.
Wolves’ young second team also faced a league-leading team, and without coach Claire Abbott and second leading scorer Daisy Porter they lost 53-45 at Cobham Cobras.
The visitors trailed 21-5 at the first break, but fought back to make it a six-point game heading into the final break. The game was tied at 43 with four minutes remaining but with leading scorer Caitlin Ryan fouling out the offence dried up, and Cobras wrapped up their seventh straight WNBL Division Two South victory.
After scoring the game winner in Wednesday’s Elite Academy league win against Barking Abbey, Ryan again led Wolves’ scoring with 16 points while Amye Swinney, Joanna Akpan and Elle Brown hit six apiece.
In a weekend where Wolves faced three games against league leaders, the men’s Division Two side’s difficult season continued with a 112-49 loss against Solent Kestrels.
Against a club who won four straight Division One titles and five other trophies during that period before somehow negotiating a drop to the second tier, Wolves took early leads through Spencer Matthews and Talles Zacharias but were then outscored 62-11 in the rest of the half as Kestrels wrapped things up before the interval.
Zacharias and Jack Davies each scored ten points, with Matthews adding eight.
Wolves will look for their first victory of the season on Saturday when they host Cobham Scorchers at 6pm. Tickets are available on the door or through www.oaklandsbasketball.com.
There was also disappointment for Wolves II as they went down 104-69 at Cambridge Cats on Saturday evening, never recovering from a 34-17 first period deficit.