Sevenoaks Suns launched their 2019-20 Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) campaign with two wins in the opening weekend to take them through to the WBBL Trophy Semi-Finals next February.
In a change to the league’s normal opening weekend, all teams headed to the University of Essex in Colchester for the Betty Codona WBBL Trophy.
Sevenoaks started their campaign with an 81-60 win over Caledonia Pride on the Friday evening before returning to the Essex Sports Arena on Sunday to defeat Newcastle Eagles 81-57. The two wins placed them top of group C and they joined Durham Palatinates, Nottingham Wildcats and old foes, Leicester Riders, in the Semi-Finals, which are due to take place over the weekend of February 15/16, 2020.
Len Busch, Sevenoaks’ Head Coach, said:” We have ability in all areas, which gives us great ammunition for the season ahead. We are well equipped to go that further step this year”.
Returning Suns, Cat Carr and Ta’Yani Clark, both displayed why they are the league’s hot property as they took control of both matches from the start.
The duo have been instrumental in their team’s success over the last three years, including their unprecedented unbeaten league campaign in 2018-19, and they were hoping to make another big impact, joining forces once again as they look to secure Suns’ 3rd straight league championship and 4th straight playoff title.
Carr started her sixth season for Suns and the all-round team player is gunning for another trophy in 2020. The 6’0” forward hit an average 14.7 points per game last term, with 5.8 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game.
Carr said: “I’m really excited about this upcoming year with the Suns, I feel great about the chemistry and the potential it still has to grow. Sevenoaks has grown as a club so much since I first joined, so I’m just glad I get to be a part of it for another year. From season to season our goals and expectations never change, we want to challenge ourselves, work hard and always stick together.”
Clark contributed relentlessly across all categories over the weekend and was her usual influential self, flirting with her own double-double against Newcastle. She sent her team into the Trophy Semi-Finals with an eye-catching eight points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.
However, in both fixtures, nine out of the 11 squad members put scores on the board, which shows the depth the team have.
Judit Fritz, Julia Koppl and Janice Monakana have all committed to Suns for another year after putting in consistent performances which took the club to an unbeaten season, and an MVP award in the Play-Off Final.
They were joined by shooting guard Renee Busch, who also agreed to continue with the reigning WBBL Champions for a fourth consecutive season, and 16-year-old Asha Andrews, who, after coming off the bench at the end of last season, has been handed her first full WBBL season.
Connecting with the core of last season were Suns newbies, Ijeoma Ofomata who signed from BA London Lions, and Spanish guard Irene Garrido-Perez. Both wasted no time on court and slotted straight in with their teammates.
Garrido-Perez said of her move to the WBBL and Sevenoaks Suns: “I am excited to be part of the Suns team and play for one of the best teams in the WBBL. I am looking forward to the season and to getting started and hopefully we can repeat last year’s achievements”.
Forward Jess Hunt and guard Hayley Miller make up the rest of the squad for the 2019-20 season.