Basketball: Helen Nayl-s it once again for top Hatters

Have your say

Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters went top of the WBBL Championship after overpowering Cardiff Met Archers 86-54 in the Steel City.

The league’s leading scorer, Helen Naylor, led the Hatters for the third game in a row with a massive 28 points, in what was their tenth straight league win as they remain unbeaten at home all season.

Hatters had been through the century mark in two of their previous three games, and the last meeting in the league between these teams was a thrilling 100-94 Hatters success.

Ten minutes into this game it looked as though they may achieve that again, as they settled it in the early exchanges after a 26-13 first quarter, with Naylor on fire on her way to 16 first half points.

The Archers stemmed the flow in the second stanza but, despite being the league’s third highest scorers overall, failed to close the gap as they struggled to convert at the offensive end against the league’s second sternest defence.

Cardiff went in trailing 42-23 at half time, in what became their second consecutive defeat - both against the league’s top two sides - and their fifth defeat in six road games this season.

There was no way back in the second half of the game, as the Hatters rattled off another 24 third quarter points and eased through the latter stages, restricting Archers to their lowest points tally since the opening night of the campaign in early October.

n Linbraze Arrows’ U18s needed overtime to see off Newcastle Eagles in a dramatic 78-75 victory.

Arrows Scorers; Walcott 24, Lycoudis 23, Mohamed, Anderson and Bristow 6, Zaheer 5, Dennison and Hopkinson both 4.

Coach Jonny Kelly said: “The game was exhausting mentally for everybody involved. At times the lead was like a tennis rally going back and forth!

“The young men showed a lot of courage to grind it out in overtime after the fourth quarter heart break. I am very proud and can’t wait to play our rivals (Sheffield Sharks) this coming Saturday.”

Arrows U16s, meanwhile, beat Barnsley Leaders 88-47.

Scorers: Salim 28, Anderson 21, Wadah Hassan 14, Shedd 6, Wright 5,Jama & Marcel 4, McFarlane, Smith, Wood 2.

But the U14s couldn’t make it a clean sweep as they lost 75-71 to Tees Valley.

Arrows Scorers; Jabar Bika 17, Sam Taylor 15, Lycoudis 11, Kalsi 9, Hartshorn 8, Morgan 4, Dawson 3, Askwith 2, Sayles 2.

The Arrows’ senior men, meanwhile, misfired in Brixton and slipped to a 75-68 defeat at Brixton topcats.

This defeat sees the Arrows slip to 11-5 overall and out of the promotion picture for this season.

Cameran McCallum led the team in scoring with 22 and was the Arrows’ best player - but he was crowded out down the straight as the Arrows seemed to lack the desire needed to notch a win in London. Andre Rankine had some moments but it was not enough overall.

Coach Andrew Purnell said: “What a disappointing result. We had a disrupted journey but take nothing away from Brixton, who were deserved winners.

“We put ourselves in a position to win going into the fourth by taking quarters two and three , but a failure to execute offensively, and a lack of intensity defensively in the fourth, saw us slip to a defeat.

“Next up is Birmingham away; another dangerous outfit who will, like Brixton, test us to the maximum.

“But I still believe in this group’s hunger and desire to put this right.”