What a Final match-up we have with some incredible talent on display and a lot to think about on who will come out on top as Playoff Champions.
Can Sevenoaks Suns best season in the club history continue after finishing 3rd in the league and picking up Trophy Final honours. Or will it be back-to-back league champions, the powerhouse team in the WBBL who most would have expected to be in this final in Nottingham Wildcats.
There is so much to look at in this final but what jumps out to me are two things. (1) Momentum vs Revenge and (2) Which star player can be contained.
Momentum is so important in basketball where Coach Len Busch’s side have at it at the exact right time going into another final with a huge amount of confidence. Coming fresh of a come behind win in the semi’s will only boost this even more.
The Wildcats just fell short at the same venue last year in the Playoff Finals as well as this years WBBL Cup Finals which adds revenge, a point to prove and a chip on the shoulder mentality which I’m sure has been used this season to get them into this exact place.
How well can each team contain star players Ashley Harris and Cat Carr? They are the leaders and difference makers for their teams so if either one is limited who else is going to step up. This may play an even bigger factor into this game than the individual performances of these two great players.
Cat Carr. Teams across the WBBL will know too well you have to try your best to stop the best scorer in the league. Coach Greenaway will likely throw different match ups and traps at her which will be important to slow her down.
Ashley Harris. Over this season she is posting 20 pts & 13 rebs vs the Suns so they must have a way to limit her which can’t be done 1v1 where the whole team need to make it difficult for her.
Sun’s defensive specialist Dani Lozzi will need to slow down the crafty PG Joana Ferreira who has started to peak at the right time for the Wildcats.
Another match up to watch is sharp shooters Gabby Nikitinaite vs Siobhan Prior who at any time can get hot and turn the game in a flash.
Anne Pederson could well be the X-factor. Fresh off making the WBBL Team of the Year as well as the Trophy Final MVP. Her improved play has catapulted the Suns late charge.
Sevenoaks Suns will need to control the tempo of when to go and when to slow it down and not live on quick shots or it will be a long night. Good shot selection is key as second chance points against the Wildcats are rare who also like to push off misses. Coach Busch’s side will need to play team basketball of moving the ball like they have all season and not solely rely on 1v1 battles with the ball sticking as this will play into the Wildcats hands.
They also must rebound, especially on the defensive end to not allow Wildcats any second chance points and make Ashley Harris play defence and look to get her into foul trouble.
Nottingham Wildcats will need to continue to play their offence through Ashley Harris and make the Suns adjust their defence which Coach Greenaway is so good at. Trying to get her some quick 1v1 post ups as much as they can will not only open up outside scoring for others but also herself who can hit beyond the arc.
They like to push the ball on misses so the transition game of getting quick and easy buckets will always be an option for them which they need to do against the Suns. Rebounding will be vital in this game where the Wildcats could look to punish the Suns in this area to find an edge.
It’s such a close one to call where I’m looking at who is going to step up on the big stage and make the big plays needed to win when it counts.
I have people on each team that I’m close with so tough to pick a winner but my gut is that I just love the momentum of Sevenoaks Suns towards the post season so going to predict that they pull out another finals win to cap off a historic season for the club!