Raiders trounce newcomers as Ward sisters fire
Raiders’ under-18 development squad’s small fleet-footed brigade proved far too strong for bottom-placed Panthers in round 12 of the Albany Basketball Association women’s A-grade competition on Tuesday night, boosting their finals hopes.
After losing their past three matches and sliding to fourth on the ladder, Raiders needed to turn their form around quickly, and they did that in convincing fashion, beating Panthers by 31 points.
Sisters Caitlin and Alyssa Ward were superb for Raiders, while guards Shianne Arthur and Savannah Hill caused countless Panthers turnovers.
Applying an enormous amount of pressure, Raiders skipped 10 points clear in the first half and led 21-7 by the half-time break, with Alyssa Ward contributing eight points and Hill six, while the ever-reliable Bridgette Latham was also busy, scoring four points.
Panthers began the second half far better and matched their opponents for the opening five minutes, but Raiders’ full court press was too much to handle as the half wore on.
Raiders feasted on fast break points from steals they created in defence as the Wards got busy in attack.
Alyssa Ward sank her sixth field goal of the game on the buzzer to ensure her side won by more than 30 points, 62-31.
Caitlin Ward finished with a game-high 16 points, going with Alyssa Ward’s effort of 14, while Hill chipped in with 12.
The win is Raiders’ first since round 8 and pushes them four points clear in fourth spot with three games to play.
Panthers were well led by Ella Scamozzi and centre Elen Linett.
In the other matches, Magpies won an entertaining top-of-the-table clash with Flames by 12 points, skipping clear after half-time to notch a 36-24 result.
Tully Lane finished with 13 points and was well supported by Darcie Oreo and Jasmyne Jones, while Shianne Arthur (12) played a lone hand for Flames.
Grammar Griffins held off Sparks, 35-31, to secure a finals spot.
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