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Alloyfold Canterbury Widlcats claim 2016 WBC title - May 14, 2016


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Ashley Gayle
The 2016 WBC (Women's Basketball Championship) champions have been found. Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats produced a dominant performance to beat Waikato Wizards 68-54 in the Final at Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua on Saturday.
The Plate Final was a one sided affair as Capital Flyers continued their recent good form with a resounding 65-35 victory against Auckland Counties Manukau Lady Hawks. Canterbury forward Ashley Gayle (193-F-90, college: Texas) scored the first basket of the game, Alyssa Hirawani (169-G-98) replied with a lay up in traffic for Waikato but a 12-0 run helped Canterbury to a 21-12 opening quarter lead. But for a running three from just beyond the half way line by Hirawani on the quarter time buzzer the lead could have been even more substantial. Seven straight points from Courtney Hamblin and two from Terai Sadler stretched the Wildcats lead to 30-14 forcing a time out from Wizards coach Leanne Walker . Miriam Stevens (178-F-90) broke the scoring drought for Waikato as a defence dominated quarter ended with the Wildcats 32-19 to the good. The impressive Hirawani led all scorers with 12 points at the break, Fran Edmondson close to a double double with 8 points and 8 boards for the Wildcats. As in the first half Gayle opened the scoring with opposition centre Stevens converting from short range for Waikato in reply. Gayle began to dominate the key at both ends and she stretched the lead to 40-21 with seven straight points before Hirawani added to her tally with a triple but the lead by then was 20 points in favour of the Cantabs. Tessa Morrison (171-G-97) knocked down a couple of three's either side of a Kelcy Ballantyne bucket and when Shea Crotty (165-G-92) grabbed a steal and a break away lay-up the Canterbury captain had one hand on the trophy with her team 57-30 to the good. Georgia Perrott-Hunt (174-G-97) scored twice early in the final period to prompt a Waikato revival but the result was never in doubt as Canterbury won 68-54. The Wildcats have remained unbeaten during the 2016 WBC campaign, winning 14 straight WBC games to deservedly claim the title. Wildcats coach Lori McDaniel was naturally delighted, 'I'm really proud of the girls performance, not just today, but throughout the season. They have remained unbeaten in WBC (14 games) and that is pretty impressive in it's self. 'It got a bit out of control towards the end but luckily we were up by quite a bit by then but overall they've done a great job. I called a timeout and told them to chill and relax out as you are playing as if we are behind by 20 points not up by 20. Regardless of the turnovers at the end we won well and deserved to win' McDaniel paid tribute to the Waikato Wizards and their coach Leanne Walker . 'Waikato have done a great job and for Leanne to do what she did without Krystal ( guard Krystal Leger-Walker (170-G-97) is in China with the Tall Ferns) is a credit to them. They are a tough team, they are skilled' In a fine all round team effort McDaniel complimented three individual players. 'Fran Edmondson (10 points, 14 rebounds) has done a great job. She is not a traditional type of post player, a kind of wriggly, bendy kind of an athlete but its great to watch. I also want to commend Ashley Gayle (13 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks) on a controlled true posting game today and I'm really proud of how she played. 'I think it is a lot of effort from all the girls, everyone has contributed and Shea Crotty has been a fantastic leader at point guard.' The Canterbury coach also took time to thank the team's sponsors. Murray Kennedy and Alloyfold have been fantastic. They have brought a lot of value to these players, not just monetary but going out and getting individual sponsors. I am thrilled to bits with their support, it makes a massive difference.'
Courtesy of: basketball.org.nz   



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