The Sevenoaks Suns booked their place in the club’s fourth WBBL Playoff Finals with a narrow win over Kenrick Liburd’s Nottingham Wildcats in a tense affair at Surrey Sports Park.
The second-seeded Suns went into this fixture off the back of an epic comeback victory against the Essex Rebels in the quarter-finals, with the Wildcats also riding high after upsetting the fourth-seeded Leicester Riders in their previous play-off clash, and both teams started the game looking to carry through the momentum of last week’s wins.
For the Suns, they asserted their control on the game early with some suffocating defence limiting the Wildcats’ usual heavy scorers to difficult shots or being forced to make passes out of double-teams, with the Suns leading 23-14 after the opening 10 minutes.
A string of cheap fouls early in the second quarter by the home side meant the Wildcats were in the bonus for a whopping eight minutes of the second quarter and duly took their opportunity to narrow the margin, with Kennedy Nicolas providing a consistent inside scoring presence off the bench.
Janice Monakana starred for the Suns on the day, matching her regular season-high of 24 points in the scoring department whilst also adding eight rebounds and a superb seven steals with Great Britain international having one of her best games of the season for Len Busch’s side.
The Wildcats refused to go away in the game, however, and a late flurry of points after forcing the Suns into turnovers and fouls brought Nottingham back to within two points with 20 seconds on the clock, but the visitors couldn’t find a shot to tie the game and the Suns closed out a vital victory to set up a date at the 02 Arena, London, on May 15th to face either the London Lions or Caledonia Pride in the WBBL Play-off Finals.
Sevenoaks Suns 66-64 Nottingham Wildcats (23-14, 42-38, 54-47)
(Suns – Monakana 24, Busch 14, Koppl 9; Wildcats – Nicolas 16, Edmonds 13, Egharevba 9)