The Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats went 1-1 in their recent road trip, with only two games remaining in the regular season
June 15 and 16 Game Reports provided by Mike Lacey/BBNZ. Photographs provided by Angela Ruske/Toni Smith-Hunwick/BBNZ
Waikato Wizards 77-55 Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats
Krystal Leger-Walker put together a stats stuffing 27 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals to guide the Waikato Wizards to a comfortable 77-55 victory against Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats at St Peter’s School, Cambridge on Saturday 15 June.
Sister Charlisse Leger-Walker (17 points) returned for her first game of the season and with Ella Bradley (22 points) in sparkling form the trio controlled proceeding against a Wildcats team that relied over-heavily on Marita Davydova (18 points and 19 rebounds) and Tall Fern Tessa Boagni.
The forward duo combined for 32 points but the scoring output from the Wildcats guards will be a concern for coach Lori McDaniel with the back-court unit shooting a combined 9 from 42 (21%).
Davydova remained on court in the third quarter with four fouls and the calculated gamble paid off for McDaniel as she and Boagni kept the Cantabrians within striking distance. It was only a ten-point game with five minutes to play but the Leger-Walkers and Bradley turned on the magic as the Wizards pulled away in the final minutes.
Davydova became the first WBC player to pass the 100 points mark this season but it was a minor consolation for the Russian international and her team mates.
Taranaki Thunder 36-80 Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats
The Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats bounced back from the disappointing loss against the Wizards the previous day to record an emphatic 80-36 win against Taranaki Thunder in Opunake on Sunday 16 June.
The Wildcats were paced by double figure contributions from Marita Davydova (25 points, 17 rebounds and 7 steals), Tessa Morrison, Laken Wairau and Helen Matthews.
A decisive second quarter in which the Wildcats outscored their hosts 28-4 set up the win. Most of the damage in the period was done by the league’s leading scorer Davydova and the teenage guard duo of Mathews and Rosalia Samia. Raquel Sampson and Tayla Murray scored 10 points apiece for the hosts with Murray, the Thunder’s leading rebounder, hauling in 11 boards for a meritorious double-double.
WBC Division 1 Standings
6-2 Auckland Dream
5-2 Harbour Breeze
4-3 Waikato Wizards
4-4 Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats, AM I FIT Otago Gold Rush
0-8 Taranaki Thunder
Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to South Island rivals the Goldrush, in a game that may end up being the deciding factor in locking in the four playoff teams. They then come home for their final home game against the Harbour Breeze on Saturday 29 June. Tickets are now on sale, and if you use the code “2FOR1” before the 22nd of June you can get a ticket for only $5!