Worcester wheelchair basketball coach thrilled with fight showed in Cardiff defeat - The Worcester Observer

Worcester wheelchair basketball coach thrilled with fight showed in Cardiff defeat

Worcester Editorial 29th Apr, 2024   0

WORCESTER Wolves wheelchair basketball head coach Lucas Warburton feels his side has found the fight needed to medal at this year’s Women’s Premier League playoffs.

Picture by Dave Dunbar at Purple Swan Photography. s

Warburton was speaking after the Wolves narrowly lost Saturday’s final regular season match of the year at home to Cardiff Met Archers, a result which saw the away side secure third place at Worcester’s expense.

 

 

Picture by Dave Dunbar at Purple Swan Photography. s

The two sides will face each other yet again at the Women’s Premier League playoffs in Essex on Saturday, May 18.

Wolves, one of only four professional wheelchair basketball teams in the country, started the stronger of the two sides, with their big forward Lena Knippelmeyer dominating in the Cardiff key to scoop up rebounds and hit 14 points in the opening ten minutes.




Finding themselves 18-11 down at the end of the first quarter, Cardiff looked to shut Wolves out of the key, and through devastating shooting from Jade Atkin and Katie Morrow, levelled the game in two and a half minutes.

After calling a timeout, Warburton’s side recomposed themselves, showcasing their much-improved outside shooting with Jade Loughlin in particular finding her scoring touch from range to net ten points in the second quarter.


Picture by Dave Dunbar at Purple Swan Photography. s

Despite this, Worcester found themselves a point behind at half-time, and they started the third quarter slowly with Cardiff taking full advantage.

Archers guard Leah Evans was particularly potent in the third quarter, scoring the pick of the day’s baskets with a peach of a three-pointer as Wolves trailed by eight points with ten minutes left.

But the hosts rallied in the final quarter, with Knippelmeyer and Loughlin both going on a scoring spree to help Worcester level the game up with just three minutes left as the crowd rallied behind them.

But a late Archers timeout gave the away side a chance to halt Worcester’s momentum, and Cardiff eventually managed to secure a 66-60 win.

Picture by Dave Dunbar at Purple Swan Photography. s

Knippelmeyer was the game’s joint top-scorer along with Cardiff’s Jade Atkin, with the two forwards helping themselves to 25 points each.

Warburton told the Observer: “Our performance showed the fight we’ve developed which we’ve probably lacked through the season, we really dug in during the fourth quarter when it looked like the game could be out of our reach and managed to get back level so I’m really pleased with that.

“We were missing a lot of players for this game and should have more back for the playoffs, so the fact we nearly won this game really bodes well.”

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