A superb 23-0 run in the final quarter turned a two-point lead into a comfortable victory for Sheffield Gems, the tabletopping women’s team of Derbyshire Linbraze Arrows.
In their fifth game on the road, Gems faced an awkward test against second-placed Bradford Cobras, their closest rivals in the Ladies’ Premier Division of the Leeds Basketball League. But their 66-47 win lifted them five points clear at the top of the table.
It was a terrific display, with all ten players contributing points, starting with captain Kate Loftus, who scored and then gave a clever assist to Emma Birkinshaw as Gems built a 15-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was a struggle as Bradford edged in front, 29-28. But with top points’ scorer Rachel Campbell (14) making some headway in the third quarter, Gems regained a slender advantage at 41-39.
Then came the barnstorming final period as Gems, led by Stacey Kirk (11 points), mixed strong defence with tremendous offence to take control of the game magnificently.
MEANWHILE in the National League, Arrows U14s recorded a season-high of 59 points against a physically strong and much older Doncaster Danum Eagles side in the North-East Development Division.
Arrows still fell to a 93-59 defeat but turned in a strong performance, led by captain Isaac Askwith who fired 27 points, even though he is actually an under-11, and well supported by Logan Shepherd with 19.
In the Midlands Development Division, Arrows U16s battled hard against a more experienced Mansfield Giants side before losing 75-48. Captain Wadah Hassan amassed 26 points and Alex Lycoudis 13.