basketball

Sheffield Hatters after winning their fourth trophy of the season
Sheffield Hatters after winning their fourth trophy of the season
0
Have your say

It’s top Hatters once again - for the fourth time this season.

For Vanessa Ellis’s great team as winners completed a quartet of trophies by beating season-long foes Nottingam Wildcats in the Women’s British Basketball Play-off final.

That means a clean sweep of WBBL trophies, having already won the Trophy and league title. And, for good measure, they also took the Betty Codona Trophy, named after the woman who founded the most successful of all women’s sports teams.

The Westfield Health Hatters beat Wildcats 84-69 in the play-off final last Sunday in Worcester.

Steph Gandy had been the hero in the Trophy final and the title decider against Nottingham but in Worcester Helen Naylor produced an MVP performance on this occasion, going for 30 points as Hatters held off a spirited Wildcats, who were led by 19 points from Carmen Reynolds.

Naylor felt Hatters’ strength in depth was the difference in Sunday’s final.

“We really stepped up our defensive effort in the second half, ran the floor well, subbed and we have a deep bench and we just continued running the floor and attacking the rim and they just couldn’t stop that in the end,” said Naylor, who finished with a game-high 30 points.

“We’ve got 12 players and anybody can come on and keep the intensity up and when we do that we are really good and hard to stop.

“We dipped a bit in the third quarter and picked it back up in the fourth.”

Hatters had appeared tentative in the early exchanges before Naylor knocked down two triples to settle her team.

She added: “It was probably one of my better shooting nights but it was down to team-mates driving and everybody finding each other.

“At the beginning of the game everybody was a bit uptight and I think hitting those two shots just helped us to get into our flow.”

n Nottingham 69 (20, 39, 61) (Reynolds 19, Kassongo 14, Pressley 10); Hatters 84 (13, 32, 55) (Naylor 30, Gandy 19, Cooney 13).