Sheffield Hatters women’s basketball team in semi-finals

Sheffield Hatters' Gianna Woods who had been in the first two weeks of WBBL's All Star 5.
Sheffield Hatters' Gianna Woods who had been in the first two weeks of WBBL's All Star 5.
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Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters ladies basketball team are all set for their play-off semi-final showdown on Sunday.

Hatters - who booked their ticket with a quarter-final victory over Team Northumbria - will meet Leicester Riders in the semis at the O2 this weekend.

The other semi will be between Sevenoaks Suns and Nottingham Wildcats, a clash that will also be staged at the 02 on Sunday.

Hatters emerged as 84-64 victors in their match against Team Northumbria as they progressed for the fourth year in a row.

Northumbria knocked them out at that stage two years ago in the only previous post-season meeting between the two.

But the third-placed Hatters were the form side heading into this one and now hold three wins over this opposition in this campaign.

Hatters broke a tie by scoring the last five points of the first half, and then opened the second with a 9-2 run to take a double-digit lead at 48-36 as Gianna Woods scored five points.

Steph Gandy scored six in a row over the third quarter break, before five from Helen Naylor made the lead an insurmountable 73-52.

In a scrappy game with low shooting percentages, Hatters grabbed 14 offensive rebounds for 18 second chance points, with Woods and Krizstina Velkey snatching four of those each.

Hatters had almost equal contributions from four players. But Gianna Woods posted a big double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds, with Krizstina Velkey doing likewise on 13 points and 12 boards, while also dishing seven assists.

The pair also scored key baskets in the decisive run over the half time break.

So impressive was the Hatters display that two players - Krisztina Velkey and Gianna Woods - made the league’s weekly All-Star Five selection.

Leading Hatters scorers were Woods 22, Naylor 18 andVelkey 13.

Scores from the other play-off quarter-final matches: Leicester Riders 71-61 Caledonia Pride; Sevenoaks Suns 68 - 56 Cardiff Met Archers; Nottingham Wildcats 76 - 69 Manchester Mystics.