Hatters slip behind in bid to retain title

Playoff-chasing Sheffield Hatters Under-18 pose for a selfie
Playoff-chasing Sheffield Hatters Under-18 pose for a selfie
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All-conquering Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters are in danger of losing their crown.

After brilliantly retaining the Women’s British Basketball League Trophy the previous week, Hatters came back down to earth with a bang.

They were beaten 79-77 at home by Nottingham Wildcats and will be hard pushed to retain the WBB League title as Wildcats have a 100 per cent league record while it was the second defeat of the season for Hatters.

The defeat came despite 24 points from Helen Naylor, MVP in Hatters League Trophy triumph at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena, and 21 from Steph Gandy.

Wildcats’ new signing Melissa Diawakana did most of the damage with a 25-point haul.

After the match coach Vanessa Ellis said, “I’m disappointed in the loss. I felt the lack of discipline in the last quarter helped give Nottingham the victory.”

Hatters 77 (15,40,64) (Naylor 24, Gandy 21, Lowenthal 17).

Wildcats 79 (15,37,60) (Diawakana 25, Stokes 18, Prior 16).

Hatters hope to get back to winning ways tomorrow when they travel to Leicester Riders (4.30pm).

Helen Naylor is one of 16 players to be invited by Great Britain’s senior women’s head coach Jose Maria Buceta to preparation camp ahead of next month’s pivotal EuroBasket Women 2017 qualifying window.

Leeds Force felt the power of Hatters Under-18s when they clashed at All Saints. Courtney Bennett scored 22 points, including two three-pointers, as Hatters won 60-55. The result was a big boost for Hatters’ play-off hopes, leaving them with a 7-1 record compared to Leeds’ 5-3. Hatters squad: Courtney Bennett 22 pts; Jo Lowry 15; Eleanor Goodwin 7; Millie Dooley 6; Molly Axelby 6; Zoe Silcock2; JD Quinn 2; Beth Rutherford;Arianna Fox; 
Eleanor Neath& Shauna Harrison.

Next week in Grass Roots: Focus on Hatters’ promising young star.