It’s a double celebration for Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters
Great Britain star Steph Gandy has been crowned Molten WBBL player of the month, following on from play-caller Vanessa Ellis scooping the coaching accolade.
The forward has been in outstanding form and was a clear leader in terms of her performance valuation, averaging 25.2 as Hatters won all five of their games in the period.
Collecting her second monthly award having also taken the title for December, Gandy poured in 20.8 points per game and did so at a superb 58.3% from the field, as well as being the third best free-throw shooter in the league.
Gandy also did the business on the glass with 7.6 boards per game and was in the top ten February chart for both assists and steals, with an impressive 4.2 per game for the former and grabbing 2.2 per game for the latter.
Expected to be an influential figure on the Great Britain roster for EuroBasket Women 2015 in the summer, Gandy will firstly try to take Hatters to more silverware with the inaugural WBBL Championship title and WBBL Play Off Final both up for grabs.
And Gandy makes a ninth appearance of the campaign in the WBBL team of the week, moving level with Carmen Reynolds in the fight to collect the most slots in this historic first league season.
Top-of-the-table Hatters extended their winning streak to 13 games with an 87-66 victory at Team Northumbria.
Team Northumbria 66 (18,32,49) (Manigrasso 26, O’Dwyer 13, Mobley 12)
Hatters 87 (21,42,64) (Gandy 33, Thomas-Johnson 20, Rees 19)
Steph Gandy paced the winners with a game-high 33 points and 14 rebounds, as the visitors cruised to yet another routine win, outscoring Northumbria 50-32 in the paint.
To complete a great weekend, Hatters’ other three teams won.
Results - Div 2: Hatters 90 Northants Lightning 56; U16: Hatters 79 Barrow Thorns 55; U14: Barrow Thorns 48 Hatters 63
* Killamarsh Linbraze Arrows lost 87-83 at home to London’s Eastside Eagles as they left themselves too much to do in the last quarter. Joseph Baugh had 28 and Chris Dixon 31 for the Arrows who sadly have been edged out in the last three game by single figure margins.
Arrows Under-16s stunned Leeds Force 91-57 with their brand of swift attacking basketball,
Mitchell Dennison’s side continue to impress as they hold third place, which they hope to hold onto in their final match, a trip to Durham.
Scorers: Salim 29, Anderson 21, Hassan 17, Wright 8, Shedd 8, Smith 4, Wood 4
Arrows Under-14 also comfortably beat Leeds Force, 77-31. Arrows, who had 10 year old prodigy Isaac Askwith in the starting line up scoring six points and looking in control clearly have a bright future under debutant coach Leo Lycoudis.
Scorers: Bika 16, Dawson 14, Taylor 10, Lycoudis 10, Morgan 8, Sayles 7, Askwith 6, Lowton 4, Rubenstein 2
* Barnsley Leaders U16s produced another strong team performance to win 59-38 at Leeds Tigers, gaining revenge for a two point defeat in Barnsley in December.
Leaders: Matty Rees 17, Joe Taylor 17, Matthew Bird 14, Jacob Danks capt 8, Martynas Kandrotas 3, Daniel Njoh. Coach Bert Beaumont.
Leaders Juniors faced a strong Hatfield Fliers team on Saturday and lost 73-25. Regan Webb playing in his first game top scored for the Leaders with 11 points and Joe Hatfield added seven. Paddy Poyton (4) and Cameron Holdaway (2) worked hard in the back court aided by Kieran Jackson (1) playing his first game, Alfie Gibson and Jacob Holdway.
On Saturday the Leaders play their final EBL game of the season when they entertain Rotherham Hawks (11am).
* Despite travelling with only six senior players City of Sheffield Saints won 86-76 at Hull Wasps in their penultimate game of the season.
Hull started with two 3s, and were dominating the boards at both ends of the court, so coach Ariel Parrucci called a time out and brought on Marcus Welsh and Under 16 Jacob Cauthorn on.
Jacob was fouled and sunk both free throws, Marcus was fouled making a lay up, sank his and 1, injured his ankle and had to sit out the rest of the game:
Saints trailed 21-20 going into the 2nd period and Hull went on an 8-4 run as Saints again struggled to contain the home side’s big men, prompting Ariel to call an early time out with immediate effect –
Luke Parker was fouled hitting a 3, made the free throw, followed by baskets by Sam Grainger and a jump shot from Lewis Heenan and one from captain Pete Olusoga a Saints an 0-10 run and a six- point lead. Fouls and free throws from both teams gave Hull’s American captain Matt McCart the opportunity to make all six of his free throws but eight points from Saints gave them a 35-43 half time lead. Hull narrowed the gap to four in the third period, but with excellent rebounding from Olusoga, Heenan and Callum McKenzie and cool heads under pressure from Cauthorn and Teruzzi, Saints ended 55-66 up going into the final quarter. The sides exchanged baskets but Saints all round team play, with six players getting on the score sheet, was them home.
The three junior players impressed, never looking out of place against stronger more experienced players.
Pete Olusoga 22, Luke Parker 15, Jacob Cauthorn 15 (12 – our stats), Callum McKenzie 12, Lewis Heenan 9, Sam Grainger 5 (8 – our stats), Guido Teruzzi 5, Marcus Welsh 3, Greg Shaw.
Saints are due to play Leeds Allerton High Force on Saturday 14th March, their final game of the regular season.
n Fixtures – Saturday: Hatters U16s v Sefton Stars (12), Hatters U14 v Manchester Mystics(12), Saints U14 v Killamarsh ArrowS (2pm), Leeds Ahf v Saints, Derby Trailblazers v Saints U18s Manchester Magic v Saints U16s. Sunday: City of Birmingham v Saints U16.