Basketball: Hatters boosted before this weekend’s Betty Codona Classic

Hatters coach Vanessa Ellis has her say during a first half time out vs Barking Abbey. Pic: Ian Anderson.
Hatters coach Vanessa Ellis has her say during a first half time out vs Barking Abbey. Pic: Ian Anderson.
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Sheffield Hatters have been given a double boost ahead of this weekend’s Betty Codona Classic in the city

Great Britain star Steph Gandy was crowned Molten WBBL Player of the Month, on the same day as coach Vanessa Ellis scooped the Molten WBBL Coach of the Month award.

Hatters Stephanie Gandy at the free throw line in the home win vs Barking Abbey

Hatters Stephanie Gandy at the free throw line in the home win vs Barking Abbey

Gandy has been in scintillating form during December and was head and shoulders above all of her rivals in terms of her performance valuation in three games.

The forward led the WBBL in shooting with an extraordinary average of 69 per cent across the wins against Team Northumbria, Cardiff Met Archers and Leicester Riders.

She just missed out on a double-double across those outings after harvesting a massive 22.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, while also showcasing her passing skills and vision by dishing up three assists per game for good measure.

Gandy is set to make the Great Britain roster for EuroBasket Women 2015 in the summer, but will firstly look to help Hatters secure silverware.

Ellis will finish the calendar year on a high after she was handed consecutive Molten WBBL Coach of the Month awards.

Having landed the accolade during November she has added another to her collection after her team went through December unbeaten.

Ellis led Hatters to three priceless victories during the period to maintain the heat on WBBL Championship leaders Nottingham Wildcats.

Hatters started the month with a crushing 104-66 victory against Team Northumbria on their home floor, prior to a highly entertaining shootout out at Cardiff Met Archers where they prevailed 100-94, in one of the most attractive WBBL games so far.

They then took back to the road and sealed a piece of history with an 87-77 win at Leicester Riders in the last four of the WBBL Trophy.

The result means Ellis will lead out Hatters against Nottingham at the first ever WBBL Trophy Final at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Sunday January 11, which will also see the first ever WBBL game broadcast live on BBLTv.

But first there’s this weekend’s tournament, which is named in honour of the club’s former coach Betty Codona.

The event sees the top eight WBBL teams meet in a knock-out format.

* Draw: Friday - Leicester v Manchester (noon);

Hatters v Cardiff (2.15pm); Barking v Northumbria (4.30pm); Nottingham v Seven Oaks (6.45pm).

Saturday - (Plate) Loser Game 1 v Loser Game 2 (9.30am); (BCC) Winner Game 1 v Winner Game 2 (11.40am); (Plate) Loser Game 3 v Loser Game 4 (2pm); (BCC) Winner Game 3 v Winner Game 4 (4.15pm).

Sunday - Plate final (10am); BCC Final (1pm).

* Sheffield residents are being offered tickets for £2 each per day.