London Lions 87-66 Essex Rebels (16-16, 40-38, 68-49, 87-66)
(Lions: S.Beckford-Norton – 28, C.Breen – 17, S.Umeh – 15; Rebels: A.Kohlhaas – 17, A.Munns – 15, L.Costa – 14)
Nottingham Wildcats 53-65 Sevenoaks Suns (14-18, 37-33, 46-50, 53-65)
(Wildcats: C.Shumpert – 14, M.Lundqvist – 11, T.Freeman – 10; Suns: C.Carr – 19, R.Busch – 16, J.Monakana – 10)
Both the London Lions and the Sevenoaks Suns continued their hot form in the Championship as they beat the Essex Rebels and the Nottingham Wildcats respectively on Good Friday.
The Lions tipped off against the Rebels first of all and gave plenty of game time to young prospects Valentina Klocker and Ines Goryanova, who scored a combined 19 points while Klocker managed an impressive double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Cassie Breen put up 17 points, while Stephanie Umeh scored 15 from the bench and Kennedy Leonard set-up her teammates 10 times, but the best performance came from captain Shanice Beckford-Norton, who scored 28 points as well as grabbing seven rebounds and making four steals.
Despite the 21-point margin, four of the five starters for the Rebels reached double figures for scoring with their captain Andrea Kohlhaas leading the way with 17 and Lucrezia Costa managed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The biggest issue for the Rebels came on defence, particularly in the paint where they conceded 22 more points than they scored in the Lions’ paint as the Homeside grabbed far more rebounds and made six blocks too compared to the visitors two.
Meanwhile in Nottingham, the Wildcats surrendered the four-point lead they took into the third quarter, losing to the Suns by 12 points as Catherine Carr’s near triple-double of 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists inspired the visitors to victory.
The result keeps them unbeaten in the Championship, and their confidence will be sky-high as Renee Busch and Tayani Clark both put in impressive performances at both ends of the court, while Janice Monakana’s ten points off the bench proved crucial as the Suns bench outscored the Wildcats’ by the same amount.
Chelsey Shumpert again led the scoring in the absence of Jasmine Joyner, while Praise Egharevba grabbed a team-high of 11 rebounds and Tia Freeman and Moa Lundqvist scored a combined 21 points.
Despite managing ten less turnovers than the Suns, the Wildcats still lost by a margin in double-figures, which was mostly down to the difference in rebounds grabbed and lower field goal percentage than their opponents – and they will be hoping to be more efficient in the next game to re-discover their best form.