Steph Gandy crowned MVP as Sheffield Hatters reach semi-final

Steph Gandy adds two points for Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters v Nottingham Wildcats
Steph Gandy adds two points for Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters v Nottingham Wildcats
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Sheffield Hatters booked their place in the semi-finals of the WBBL play-off this weekend after a 100-64 win over Sevenoaks Suns.

And the Hatters, who face Barking Abbey at All Saints this weekend in the semi-final, received more good news when Steph Gandy was named Molten WBBL Player of the Year.

There was to be no upset in the Steel City on Sunday as the Hatters cruised past Sevenoaks.

The WBBL Champions and top seeds never looked in doubt of coming unstuck in this testing ‘one-and-done’ quarter final.

Estela Royo Torres led the way with 26 points as Gandy added 25, helping to power Vanessa Ellis’ side to victory.

Helen Naylor added 19 as Hatters extending their winning streak to 19 games, a sequence stretching back to October.

Suns slip out of the play-offs and failed to pull off what would have been an incredible upset, having fallen behind early on.

Rising star Gabby Nikitinaite did manage to add to her growing reputation with 19 points, matching the tally of her ever-impressive team-mate Catherine Carr.

Gandy, meanwhile, was the landslide winner of the inaugural Molten WBBL Player of the Year award.

The Great Britain forward has been the standout player during the first year of the league and has been a significant driving force behind Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters moving to the brink of a clean sweep.

Gandy adds this latest accolade to an array of Molten Player of the Month Awards which she has received during the campaign, having scooped the gongs for December, February and March.

She led the way in performance efficiency valuation and finished the regular season as the league’s top scorer, averaging 21.3 points per game.

Gandy also registered an eye-catching average of 8.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists each time she stepped out onto the court.

The versatile forward will now be looking to finish the season on a high by trying to take Hatters into the first ever WBBL play-off final.

If the Hatters do make it to the showpiece game, Gandy will then have a brief rest before heading back to the University of Worcester Arena to link up with the Great Britain senior team as they embark on a preparation camp ahead of EuroBasket Women 2015.

In a vote via WBBL head coaches, Gandy was followed by Teresa Manigrasso of Team Northumbria and Carmen Reynolds of Nottingham Wildcats.