Sevenoaks Suns advance to the final of the WBBL Trophy following a huge 74-57 win over Leicester Riders.
In the midst of a 14-0 season in the Championship, the Suns have a chance to lift their first silverware of the season in March as they continue their dominant campaign.
They only trailed early in the game, going down 0-2 then 4-2 within the first two minutes, but once they tied the score they never looked back. Despite threatening a late comeback in the fourth, the lead was too great for the Riders to overcome.
Led by Janice Monakana’s game-high 23 points and Cat Carr’s 11/10/10 triple double, it was a huge collective team effort to book their place in the final.
Stifling defense was the story of the first half for the Suns as they allowed just 13 and 8 points in the first two quarters.
On the other end of the court, five different Suns registered points in the first quarter alone, allowing them to build a five point lead.
A 21-point second quarter gave them a healthy 18 point advantage at half time.
The Riders improved offensively in the second half, but the away side’s equally as impressive offense kept them at arm’s length and even stretched the lead to as many as 28 points heading into the final quarter.
With the Suns comfortably ahead, the Riders went on a 12-0 run to make things a little interesting, but ultimately it was too little too late as they ended up falling to a 17 point loss.
Alongside Monakana’s 23 and Carr’s triple double, Julia Koppl and Judit Fritz both posted double digit totals, scoring 11 each.
Following the game, head coach Len Busch and Cat Carr reflected on what was a successful weekend.
Len said, ‘I’m really pleased with our performance today. It was a good win against a pretty solid Leicester side. There was a bit of pressure on us because everybody wants to get to a final. We’ve done our job and we’re going to be playing in Glasgow in a couple of weeks’ time against London Lions, a matchup everyone in the WBBL has been waiting to see.
‘We had good performances from a lot of people today. The team as a whole played three excellent quarters of basketball. We had a little wobbly stretch in the fourth quarter, it’s something we’ll have to work on going forward but we settled down and got back on track and ended up with the 17 point win.
‘Cat’s triple double is indicative of her, what she’s capable of and we had contributions from so many others.
‘It was great to have Jamila Thompson back in the game, we got some good minutes out of her after being out for a bit with injury and we’re looking forward to getting back to work and getting ready to play London Lions up in Glasgow in the final.’
Carr added, ‘I thought we came out with a good game plan and we executed it for the most part. We knew we wanted to push the ball and cause disruptions when they threw the ball into the post.
We shared the ball really well, and took advantage of our mismatches.
‘We are looking forward to playing in our first final this year. This is what you play for!’
Now it is time to prepare for the final against the London Lions, who won the trophy last year and will be looking to defend their crown as the top two teams in the league go head-to-head
Author: Angelia Ronayne