In one of the most dominant winning displays you are likely to see, Leeds Women’s Basketball side comfortably beat Hull 60-24 in their first match of 2017. After winning away against their local Yorkshire rivals 40-28 in October, the home side had the added psychological advantage of knowing that they had already beaten their opponents this season. This was to be a crucial match in the league, as the sides were level on points in 3rd (Leeds) and 4th (Hull) places. Therefore, this was a match both sides needed to win to put pressure on first placed Northumbria and second placed Newcastle.
The fact that this was a local derby only made the match more interesting. The match, as aforementioned, was dominated by Leeds. After winning the tip-off, Leeds were straight on the offensive, trying to get points on the board early on. After a brilliant counter-attack from the number nine, Leeds did take the opening points of the match to lead 2-0; Hull’s equaliser to make it 2-2 being the only time in the match that Leeds would not be in the lead.
The referee accidentally setting off the fire alarm did nothing to stop the sustained pressure that Leeds were starting to exert. Five minutes in, and Leeds, in what was to be a recurring theme throughout the encounter, scored a triple to make it 9-2. The home side were running the show from defence to attack and everywhere in between before a brilliant throw made it 11-2. Leeds were, as the score line suggests, dominating the attacks, but it would be unfair to suggest Hull weren’t creating opportunities of their own, the major difference was that Leeds were able to convert them into points on the scoreboard and their opponents weren’t. The first quarter ended 15-4.
The second quarter started in much the same fashion as Leeds made it 19-6 early on and demonstrated that they were playing as a team, all together, whilst Hull were misplacing passes and, in all honesty, all over the place. An amazing triple throw from Leeds meant they were winning comfortably at 22-6. Then, to make it 30-10, something remarkable occurred; the Gryphons desire for scoring points was epitomised when four Leeds players went for the same rebound, with the other player being the one who took the original shot, showing the determination to score from all players. The next points that Leeds scored was similar too as four Leeds players ran together in a counter-attacking move which saw Hull’s players too tired to track back and defend. Half-time the score read 32-12.
By now the match seemed a foregone conclusion, Leeds were scoring points to make sure the lead was ticking over whilst turning on the style when they wanted to. After scoring a few free throws Leeds scored four points in quick succession to lead 46-19. The last quarter saw Leeds go from 48-19 up to winning the match 60-24. Although the game seemed over well before this quarter Leeds were professional enough to make sure they kept their high performance levels up. Leeds can take a lot of confidence in that they played well as a team, demonstrating the clear strength in depth possessed by the Gryphons. Next up for Leeds is a fixture against bottom of the table Teesside. Leeds can take this performance, and the fact they beat their next opponents 68-28 in the reverse fixture, as good signs that they should come away as victors again. If they play like they did today, they have an extremely good chance.
Featured Image: The Gryphon