In the second game of a doubleheader Sunday at PlaySport, Caledonia Gladiators faced a new-look Durham Palatinates without start player Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby in the opening game of the 23/24 Women’s British Basketball League season. Heading into the game, Palatinates were somewhat of an unknown, having only announced the majority of their roster this week, and having not played any games yet.
Gladiators got off to an incredible start in their first league outing, going 11-0 in the first three minutes of the game – Miguel Ortega’s side clearly showed their intent to the rest of the league. Mali international Djeneba N’Diaye got off to a flyer, with two and-one plays in the opening minutes amongst nine points to her name in just over four minutes. It took Palatinates just over nine minutes to net their first point, a contested corner 3-pointer, with the first quarter ending with the Gladiators dominating – as they led 24-3 after ten minutes.
It was Durham who got the second quarter underway, as Eliza Brault finished a layup for her side’s fifth point of the game. For the remainder, Gladiators remained dominant with impressive team basketball and points coming from across the team. The period ended with the hosts up 52-16, and Durham getting a few 3-pointers to go, alongside some inside play. At the half, Caledonia led the way in most statistics, but perhaps the most impressive was their 60% 3-point shooting, boosted by Sam Roscoe’s 3-4 shooting from beyond the arc.
After the locker room break, the game continued much in the same way it did in the first two quarters. Gladiators’ domination continued as their depth and energy, alongside the boost from the home crowd, proved too much for Palatinates. Miguel Ortega’s side played entertaining basketball, continuing their solid three-point shooting. Durham often got themselves to the line but struggled from the charity stripe, shooting only 40% in the three quarters. After thirty minutes, the game was all but Gladiators’ to claim as a win, as they led 75-27.
The final quarter saw Gladiators secure and expand on their lead. Huge three-pointers from Erin McGarrachan and Kian Omer-Jones were the themes of the fourth. Caledonia’s team basketball towards the end of the fixture became unstoppable, as they proved their point and goals as being one of the best sides in the league. Upon the final buzzer, Gladiators had picked up a huge 55-point victory, winning the game 99-44 in a superb league opener.
Next up, Gladiators welcome Namur Capitale to PlaySport for their second EuroCup Women outing after a historic debut in the competition. Get your tickets HERE!