#1. This week's number one is an international small forward Johannah Leedham (180-87, college: Franklin Pierce, currently plays in France). She led Bourges to a victory over the eighth-ranked Toulouse (8-10) crushing them 77-48 in the French LFB in Sunday night's game.
Leedham was MVP of the game. She scored 16 points in 34 minutes on the court; quite an impressive performance considering it's only Leedham's third season in pro basketball. Cercle Jean Mace Bourges (13-4) is placed second in the LFB.
It was her team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
Leedham has relatively good stats this year: 14.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.5spg in the two games she played so far.
She is currently a member of the British senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international center Chantelle Handy (191-87, college: Marshall, currently plays in Turkey). Handy was the major contributor in Mersin's victory against the tenth-ranked TED Ankara (6-10) 77-67 in the Turkish TKBL last Sunday.
She recorded 13 points.
Mersin BSH Bld (11-5) is placed fifth in the TKBL.
It was her team's seventh consecutive victory in a row.
It's Handy's first season with the team.
This year Handy has relatively solid stats: 10.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.3apg, 2FGP: 41.9%, 3FGP: 31.2% and FT: 87.5%.
She is in the roster of the British senior national team.
#3. The British player who performed third best last week abroad was former U20 international point guard Kristie Sheils (173-91, currently plays in Canada). Sheils contributed to an University of Calgary's victory against the Regina (6-12) 79-68 in the Canadian university league CIS in Saturday night's game.
She recorded 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
The University of Calgary has a very solid 15-3 record this season.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
Sheils has reliable stats this season: 10.8ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 48.4%, 3FGP: 36.4% and FT: 82.9%.
She played for the British U20 national team two years ago.
#4. Guard Kelsey Bardsley (171-90, currently plays in Canada), who plays in the Canadian CIS could not help the Lakehead University (12-5) in their last game. Despite Bardsley's very good performance the Lakehead University (#2) was crushed 82-58 on the road by the Guelph.
She was the top scorer with 17 points in 27 minutes.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial.
This year Bardsley's overall stats are: 9.9ppg, 2.2rpg and 1.1spg in the 17 games.
She used to play for the British U20 national team
back in 2010.
#5. International center Dominique Allen (192-89, college: ORU, currently plays in Italy) was not able to help Meccanica NB (9-8) in their game against Ancona (5-8) in the Italian A2 (12th division). Allen cannot count Monday's game as one of the best ones.
She recorded only 2 points.
The seventh-placed Meccanica NB was defeated 63-59 on the opponent's court by the lower-ranked Ancona (#10) in the South group.
The Regular Season already ended.
Allen's stats this season are: 10.9ppg, 7.1rpg and 2.8spg.
She plays currently for the British national team.
The list of other players, who all have British passport but never been selected to any of British national teams:
#1.Louella Tomlinson (193-F-88, agency: Regeneracom Sports, college: St.Mary's, CA, currently plays in Italy) led Napoli S.Dike to a victory over the 13th-ranked Consum.it Siena (0-18) crushing them 81-35 in the Italian A2 (12th division) on Wednesday night.
Tomlinson was the best player in that game. She had a double-double by scoring 19 points and getting 15 rebounds. Tomlinson also added 2 blocks in a mere 19 minutes; not bad, considering it's only her second season in pro basketball. Saces Dike Napoli (13-5) is placed fourth in South group.
It was her team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
The Regular Season already ended.
Tomlinson is currently eighth on the list of top scorers and also on the list of best rebounders (first place).
She has individually a very good year with high stats. Tomlinson averages: 15.8ppg, 12.7rpg, 3.3bpg and 1.9spg in the 18 games she played so far.
She has a dual citizenship: Australian and British.
Despite Tomlinson's British passport, she previously played for the Australian university national team and is probably not eligible to play for the British team.
#2.Sarah Kershaw (180-SF-85, currently plays in Switzerland) was the main contributor in Helios' victory against the eighth-ranked Basel (4-13) crushing them 91-48 in the Swiss LNA on Sunday night.
Kershaw was the best player in that game. She scored 29 points (!!!), grabbed 8 rebounds, passed 3 assists and added 2 blocks.
Helios VS Basket (17-0) is placed first in the LNA.
So far her team won all seventeen games in the Regular Season.
They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical.
Kershaw belongs to league's best passers and is ranked #6.
She has very reliable stats this season: 14.8ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.3apg and 3.7spg.
Kershaw is another player who holds two passports: British and Swiss.
#3.Shona Thorburn (178-G-82, college: Utah, currently plays in France) managed to help Pays d'Aix Basket 13 Provence in a victory against the sixth-ranked Basket Landes (10-8) 70-59 in the French LFB in Saturday night's game.
She scored only 3 points in 15 minutes.
Pays d'Aix Basket 13 Provence (7-11) is placed 12th in the LFB.
Thorburn is currently second on the list of best passers with 5.1apg.
She also averaged so far 10.4ppg and 4.9rpg in the 16 games.
Thorburn has both Canadian and British nationalities.
#4.Alex Bunton (198-C-93, college: Wichita St., currently plays in Australia) contributed to a Canberra Capitals' victory against the league outsider Townsville Fire (6-10) 76-68 in the Australian WNBL last Friday.
She scored only 2 points.
Canberra TransAct Capitals (7-14) are placed seventh in the WNBL.
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial.
This season Bunton averages: 3.1ppg and 2.8rpg.
She also holds two passports: British and Australian.
#5.Zane Alilujeva (185-C-87, currently plays in Latvia) helped Liepajas win their game against the closely-ranked KK Tallinna Ulikool (7-8) 78-69 in the Latvian LSBL on Sunday night.
Alilujeva scored only 2 points in 4 minutes on the court.
Liepajas Papirs (10-4) is placed fifth in the LSBL.
It was her team's sixth consecutive victory in a row.
Alilujeva has been at the team for four years.
This season she averages: 2.9ppg and 3.1rpg in the seven games.
Two WBBL powerhouses have progressed to the WBBL Championship Play-off semi-finals as Nottingham Wildcats and Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters won on Saturday as the journey to The O2 Arena began. Wildcats, the top seeds and back-to-back league champions, swept Cardiff Met Archers aside as they won 77-46 with Ashley Harris(187-F/C-90, college: Wayne St., NE) posting a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds. Wildcats have unfinished business in the post-season, having twice been run... [read more]
Two WBBL powerhouses have progressed to the WBBL Championship Play-off semi-finals as Nottingham Wildcats and Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters won on Saturday as the journey to The O2 Arena began.
Wildcats, the top seeds and back-to-back league champions, swept Cardiff Met Archers aside as they won 77-46 with Ashley Harris (187-F/C-90, college: Wayne St., NE) posting a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds. Wildcats have unfinished business in the post-season, having twice been runners-up in the Play-offs.
Hatters, the 2015 Play-off winners, came on strong in the fourth quarter to get past Manchester Mystics, 75-90 on the road. They were led by Helen Naylor' 24 points, although Naomi Campbell was crucial down the stretch with ten fourth quarter points.
Nottingham Wildcats are through to the WBBL Championship Play-off semi-finals after overpowering Cardiff Met Archers 77-46 in the East Midlands on Saturday, with Ashley Harris posting another big double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Wildcats are unbeaten in seven WBBL meetings with Archers, and had twice beaten them by more than thirty in this campaign.
They were also unbeaten at home throughout the league season, and all of that showed as they were 14-0 up inside three minutes when Siobhan Prior opened the game with two early three-pointers, and Ashley Harris added two more on her way to eight early points.
Stef Collins single-handedly fought back for the visiting Archers, but Hannah Shaw came from the bench to make back-to-back scores for Wildcats, and they led 26-10 after ten minutes, with Prior adding another trey.
Wildcats average six three-pointers per game, and they had made as many by the end of the first quarter, while allowing Archers to shoot just 20% from the field in the first half.
Archers, who had made it into the last Play-off place with three wins in their final six games, had no way back against the league champions.
Harris added nine more points in the first five minutes of the second stanza, and the lead went through 30 as Harris added four more and Prior hit another triple in a 9-2 run in the third period, reaching 64-33 when Prior added two more three-pointers, shooting 6/7 to that point.
And it stayed at that margin as Wildcats held their visitors scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth, in what was their third best defensive performance of the season, while Melisa Mendes and Maya Hyacienth added late triples.
Wildcats are the top seeds, they've won back-to-back WBBL Championship titles, but they have never followed that up with a Play-off crown, having been runners-up in each of the last two campaigns.
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters are into the WBBL Championship Play-off semi-finals after winning 75-90 on the road at Manchester Mystics in a clash between the league's fourth and fifth placed sides.
Hatters, Play-off winners in 2015, came into the game having lost their last two league games, and three of their last four on the road, to finish in their lowest ever position in the WBBL. And they were soon a long way behind in this game as Mystics raced into a double-digit lead at 22-9 when Rheanne Bailey, Lauren Thomas-Johnson and Amy Browne hit early three-pointers.
But Hatters then rattled off a quick nine points in response, capped by Jo Lowry's 'and-one', and they were back within one shot when Georgia Gayle hit a three-pointer. Helen Naylor then opened the second stanza with another triple, and Hatters were soon in front at 32-30 when Steph Gandy scored consecutively.
The teams - who won once each in league meetings, the head-to-head settled by just three points - could then barely be separated until the latter stages, with seven lead changes and the teams tied on six occasions.
But Hatters, who beat Mystics in the regular season run in and took that head-to-head, came on strong late on, winning the fourth quarter 28-10, beginning as Gandy and Naylor opened the period to put them in front.
Naomi Campbell scored five to keep Hatters in front, and Gayle made an 'and-one' as that pair scored all of the points in the decisive 11-2 run, Campbell proving crucial with ten fourth quarter points as Gayle's triple made the score 82-73.
The lead was double-figures when Naylor scored heading into the final minute, to keep Hatters in the race for The O2 Arena and a shot at regaining the title.
The WBBL clubs/coaches have cast their votes for the WBBL All-Defensive Team of the Year for 2016-17 and it is as follows: Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee (Team Northumbria) The livewire guard has taken her game to new levels in recent seasons and not only at the offensive end of the floor. Her quickness and basketball IQ have made her a real power defensively for Team Northumbria as she leads her team in steals. Rheanne Bailey(174-G/F-92) (Manchester Mystics) Showing leadership all over the c... [read more]
The WBBL clubs/coaches have cast their votes for the WBBL All-Defensive Team of the Year for 2016-17 and it is as follows:
Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee (Team Northumbria) The livewire guard has taken her game to new levels in recent seasons and not only at the offensive end of the floor. Her quickness and basketball IQ have made her a real power defensively for Team Northumbria as she leads her team in steals.
Rheanne Bailey (174-G/F-92) (Manchester Mystics) Showing leadership all over the court, Bailey is a colossus for Mystics and has been setting the tone defensively in an impressive season since they moved to their new home last summer, with a WBBL Cup to show for their efforts so far.
Steph Gandy (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters) The veteran knows how to get the job done for her team. Her ability to guard multiple positions remains most impressive to those opposing coaches trying to find a way to break down Hatters and evade the attentions of Gandy.
Brittany Winborne (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters) She may not be the biggest in the paint, but the physical presence of Winborne and some spectacular work on the glass as the league's leading rebounder, has meant the WBBL rookie has been one of the few constants in a challenging campaign for Hatters.
Tricia Oakes (Caledonia Pride) Check out any action from WBBL newcomers Caledonia Pride and you can expect to see Oakes stuffing the highlights reel with blocked shots as she is the league's top swatter. She has also been a real leader on the boards for her team as well.
Off the Bench - Siobhan Prior (Nottingham Wildcats), Georgia Jones (Manchester Mystics), Dom Allen (Manchester Mystics), Jamila Thompson (Leicester Riders), Melisa Mendes (Nottingham Wildcats), Deanne Hayward (Leicester Riders), Stef Collins (Cardiff Met Archers).
The WBBL Play-Off Quarter-Finals tip off this weekend and if Team Northumbria want to defend the coveted silverware they won at The 02 in London last year, they will have to do it the hard way. The north-east side have had an injury ravaged campaign so far and it shows no sign of relenting as they face the prospect of a trip to the in-form Sevenoaks Suns on Monday. "We are excited about this Play-Off game, but we are still struggling with injures,' revealed head coach, Chris Bunten. 'H... [read more]
The WBBL Play-Off Quarter-Finals tip off this weekend and if Team Northumbria want to defend the coveted silverware they won at The 02 in London last year, they will have to do it the hard way.
The north-east side have had an injury ravaged campaign so far and it shows no sign of relenting as they face the prospect of a trip to the in-form Sevenoaks Suns on Monday.
"We are excited about this Play-Off game, but we are still struggling with injures,' revealed head coach, Chris Bunten.
'However, we have been working hard this week with whatever players we have available and will come out a game plan in place to make it as hard and as scrappy for Sevenoaks as we can.
'With Nicolette [Fong Lyew Quee] being out, it makes the game even harder - but all the team have pulled together.
'Alison Gorrell (178-G-93, college: Florida Atlantic) in particular has stepped up massively at both ends of the floor and has been carrying the scoring load."
He added: "I was also really pleased with last Friday's performance against Caledonia Pride, as despite a very fragmented year due to all the injuries, I have been so proud of my team and how they have finished the Regular Season.'
The first two Quarter-Finals will come tomorrow as league winners Nottingham Wildcats continue their quest to make it back to the Play-Off Final when they entertain eighth seeds Cardiff Met Archers.
And, there could be another absolute epic when Manchester Mystics welcome Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters later in the evening, with both sides having had some intense struggles with each other so far.
Meanwhile Sunday will see Leicester Riders face Barking Abbey Crusaders, with the hosts having attained their best ever league finish of second place - but no doubt wary that the visitors signed off their Regular Season campaign with a huge road win at Hatters last weekend.
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