Brixton Topcats Ladies 76, Sheffield Hatters 82
Brixton Topcats Ladies lost 82-76 to Sheffield Hatters in the WBBL at Brixton Rec on Sunday – despite leading at the start of the final quarter.
This was still a great team performance from the Topcats. Coach Vears and his players can feel proud that they pushed a team in the top 3 of the WBBL all the way to the end buzzer. In the end it was experience that gave the Hatters the away win.
The first quarter was a lively session – both on and off the court. The home bench gave plenty of encouragement to their tam mates. It was a high scoring start to the game, with Sheffield taking a 21-15 lead into the first buzzer.
The second quarter was physical, but fair. Plenty of hustling took place underneath both hoops. A big three pointer put the Topcats ahead for the first time, 24-23.
The response from the away bench was a very public ticking off from their Coach. The Hatters had the advantage with size and weight. The game became physical with players being floored.
Topcats used their skills, rather than strength. Sheffield lost points with some casual passing out of defence. The Topcats attack took the opportunity to put more points on the board, leading 43-37 at the halfway stage.
Another very vocal public dressing down took place for the Hatters at half time on the court. The Topcats slipped into the Rec broom cupboard / home locker room, to compose for the second half.
The third quarter was incredibly tight. Another impressive three pointer from the home team set up a six point lead in the ball game. The pace of the game stepped up, from one end of the Rec court to the other.
This led to errors from both teams, and more tussles on the floor. Topcats did well to defend the final attack of the quarter as Sheffield tried to keep possession and grab the final points ahead of the buzzer.
The fourth quarter started with Topcats taking a 60-53 lead into the final stretch. Soon it was 69-69, with Hatters pressing for the away win.
With 17 seconds remaining in the game, Topcats were in need of fouls, trailing 78-76. The game was slowed down with some ‘sensible’ fouling. Unfortunately Sheffield took their chances from the free throw line, leaving the Rec with an 86-72 road win.
This was a game that simply got away for the Topcats. Taking a side chasing down a Championship all the way through to the final quarter was an impressive achievement though.