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Wolves win Herts derby

Oaklands Wolves strengthened their play-off push in WNBL Division Two South with a thrilling 49-46 victory at neighbours Hemel Storm, on Saturday afternoon.

Having ended Storm's unbeaten start to the season with a five point home win November, Claire Abbott's team now have the vital head-to-head decider if the teams finish level on wins

The young visitors trailed 14-13 at the first break but Caitlin Ryan's trey beat the half-time buzzer to tie the game at 27 going into the locker room. Point continued to be at a premium as Wolves shaded the third period 10-7 but an 8-2 run saw hosts lead by three with 4:11 on the clock

But a rare four point play from captain Caitlin Ryan put Wolves back in the lead before Rosie Porter scored a lay-up, and another Ryan triple followed by a Lily Harkness free-throw wrapped up the win.

Porter had four triples in her game-high 20 points while Ryan also scored four efforts from downtown on her way to 13 points.

There was less good news for Wolves' WBBL team as a depleted side went down 101-73 at Sheffield Hatters on Sunday evening. Lee Ryan's team were without bigs Julia Koppl and and Amy West, with the latter playing for New Zealand in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, leading the Wolves coach to draft in (the unrelated) Caitlin Ryan.

It was always going to be a tough task for Wolves, but with Shaq Wade picking up her third foul near the end of the first period, the visitors went into the opening break 24-15 down.

Hatters continued their three point barrage - they finished the game having converted 23 of their 50 attempts - in the second period to lead at 53-33 half-time. The visitors stemmed the tied in the third period, chipping a point off the deficit to trail 74-55 at the final break but with Wade fouling out in just under 16 minutes of action, the hosts wrapped up the win with a 23-14 fourth quarter.

Caterrion Thompson led Wolves with 24 points and five assists, with Allison Day adding 15 points and five rebounds while Fabienne Zere celebrated her first start of the campaign with five rebounds to go with her season-high 12 points and three assists.

Meanwhile, Wolves men's time in Division Two South looks to be coming to an end after a 93-50 home loss against Brighton Bears, on Saturday.

The visitors did a great job to limit top scorer La'Quarne to just three points, and despite 15 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes from Jack Davies, the visitors never looked back after a 31-14 first period.

Bears increased the lead to 54-23 at half-time and 88-36 at the final break before edging the fourth quarter 15-14. Oliver Rudzinski finished with nine points and three assists for the hosts and Tega Agbede adding eight points.

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