Suns on the edge of glory once again

WBBL Championship: BA London Lions 63 Sevenoaks Suns 66; Sevenoaks Suns 76 Oakland Wolves 65

The Sevenoaks Suns are just one game away from retaining their WBBL Championship title after another double-winning weekend.

Sevenoaks stretched their unbeaten run in the league this season to go 18-0 after beating BA London Lions on the road on Friday night before securing another two points at home to Oakland Wolves on Sunday. Both matches saw all-round team performances however Cat Carr and Ta’Yani Clark both starred with a massive haul of 82 points between them.

Suns started the weekend by keeping their league record perfect with a hard-fought victory on the road against BA London Lions. Sevenoaks kept the home side to single figures in the opening quarter as they established an eight-point lead, but the Lions stayed in contention and took the lead late in the third. However, the Suns went on an 8-0 run from trailing 55-52 to take control and they held on for the win.

The Suns were held to 35% shooting, but battled hard to out-rebound their opponents and that equated to an additional 14 shots and they ground out the win.

Carr was huge for the Suns with 26 points along with six rebounds and three assists, while Clark and Jess Good both completed double-doubles by adding to their 11 points with 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively.

The reigning WBBL champions then extended their winning run after beating Oaklands Wolves to move to an incredible 18-0 on Sunday, with the match being played at the unfamiliar, but more than accommodating, Tonbridge School Sports Centre.

And once again, Sevenoaks took control of the match, this time in the second quarter, when they turned the defensive screw and held Wolves to a meagre six points in the period.

Clark was super yet again with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists, while Carr was tough to guard as usual with her game-high 26 points. LLeading scorers for Sevenoaks were Carr (26), Clark (19) and Renee Busch (14).

Title challengers lose their grip
In a series of bizarre results over the weekend, in which Sevenoaks’ title rivals Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters and Leicester Riders both lost matches, the title race was all but extinguished as Sevenoaks need just two more points from their last four games to retain the Championship.

Head Coach, Len Busch, was in a happy mood on Sunday when he said: “That’s the dream, to win the title again and go to the Playoff Finals at the O2 in May”.

Sevenoaks travel to Sheffield on Saturday where they could take the title for 2019 in their rivals court, before playing Cardiff Met Archers on Sunday.

The Playoff picture
The Playoff’s start over the weekend of April 20/21 and include the top eight placed teams in the league. It is a straight knockout tournament with 1st playing 8th, 2nd versus 7th etc. The current Playoff match-ups are:

Sevenoaks Suns (1st) v Oaklands Wolves (8th)
Leicester Riders (2nd) v Newcastle Eagles (7th)
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters (3rd) v Durham Palatinates (6th)
Manchester Mystics (4th) v Nottingham Wildcats (5th)

Winning teams are then reseeded for the semi-finals, with the top seeds playing at home. Should Sevenoaks progress then they will play both matches as home fixtures.

The final will take place at the O2 in London on Sunday 19th May.