Loughborough Claim the Crown; EB Senior Women’s Final Fours Recap

By on April 27, 2014

Loughborough Riders claimed the 2014 Division 1 Women’s Playoff title with a 68-63 upset win over powerhouse City of Sheffield Hatters.

Riders, in just their second season in Division 1, prevented Sheffield from picking up their sixteen playoff title, holding their nerve during a last gasp rally led by Lauren Thomas-Johnson.

“We knew coming in it was going to be tough,” said Loughborough Head Coach Matt Harber.

“Sheffield are an unbelievable programme with a lot of talent across a lot of positions, we knew we just had to stick to our game plan and grind them down on the glass and we managed to do that in the second half.

“It’s our second year in Division 1, so for our first year to make the Final Four and this year to be a playoff champion is an unbelievable achievement and I’m really happy for our players and our university and the Leicester Riders. It’s been a great journey so far.”

Georgia Jones picked up MVP with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals.

“George was outstanding,” continued Harber. She’s a big game player, she’s really stepped up this back end of the season and led our team as I expect a point guard to, and I’m really happy she managed to have that sort of performance here in Manchester.

Box score.

Semi Final 1 – Sheffield vs Cardiff

Sheffield Hatters will play for their sixteenth Playoff title after they defeated Cardiff Archers 85-70 in the first game of Final Fours 2014.

The game turned out to be a battle of the point guards, as GB guards Lauren Thomas-Johnson and Stef Collins went at it, Collins going off for 16 points to Lauren Thomas-Johnson’s 10 in the first quarter alone. Collins won the individual battle, finishing with 28 to Thomas-Johnson’s 23, but it was Thomas-Johnson who got the win.

All five starters played the bulk of the minutes for coach Vanessa Ellis’ Hatters team and it was a 22-12 third quarter that cemented the advantage for Sheffield. Hatters only led by 3 (43-40) at the midway break but after a big third period led by 13 heading into the last ten minutes.

Helen Naylor added 21 Sheffield, who shot 50% from the field, while Collins was the only player in double figures for Cardiff.
Box score.

Semi Final 2 – Loughborough vs Nottingham

Coach Matt Harber and the Loughborough Riders did their homework on Division 1 Women Player of the Year Adrian Ritchie, holding the American to a season-low 5 points as they went on to beat league runners-up Nottingham Wildcats 66-54.

Although she did have 11 assists and 9 rebounds, Ritchie was blanketed by Riders’ defence and went 2/11 from the field.

The story, though, was Loughborough jumping out to a 23-5 first quarter lead and not once being behind on the scoreline. With two and a half minutes left in the opening quarter Riders led 17-2 and they never looked back.

Maaja Bratka was phenomenal with 25 points (85% shooting) and 13 rebounds in a very efficient performance.

Dace Bicane ended up as Wildcats’ leading scorer (17 points) in their final game of the season.

Box score.

To be updated.

About Sam Neter

Jus tryn'a let the world know the UK can hoop a little bit too! Got a story? Contact me on sam@hoopsfix.com!

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  1. Pingback: Loughborough Sporting Club » Women’s Basketball Named National Champions!!

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