Caledonia Gladiators vs Sheffield Hatters

Report by Scott Laidlaw, CamGlen Radio

Caledonia Gladiators defeated Sheffield Hatters in Women’s British Basketball League action, winning 69-56 after going down double figures in the opening period. The win takes Miguel Ortega’s side to 9-1 in the league.

The last time the teams played it was an 87-67 win at home for the Hatters, so Gladiators were looking to get revenge live on BBC Sport Scotland.

The game started with traded baskets for the score to be 2-2, but the traded baskets continued from the free throw line with the score being Caledonia 3-4 Sheffield. The Hatters then went on an early 11-0 run taking the game to 3-15. The Caledonia Gladiators were on team fouls with just under 4 minutes to go in the quarter, and the impressive run Sheffield were on forced coach Ortega to call a timeout. The Gladiators came out of the time-out converting one free throw before Sheffield extended their lead to 4-18. Gladiators then went on a 5-2 finish to end the 1st quarter 9-20.

The 2nd quarter started slowly but, Caledonia scored the first basket of the period before traded baskets taking the score to 11-22, with 6 and a half minutes left in the second, Sheffield were on team fouls, and Gladiators were on an 8-0 run. With 5 minutes remaining until half-time, it was Caledonia Gladiators 17-22 B Braun Sheffield Hatters, the Scots continued to dominate the quarter, it was traded baskets for the gap to remain at 5 points, but Caledonia were on a run of 6-2, for the game to be a close one with 1-point separating the sides – 23-24. After fighting their way back into it, Laken James eventually got the lead for Caledonia with a buzzer-beater long-range three to put the score at 31-30 as the sides headed to the locker rooms.

The second half started slowly but, Sheffield Hatters scored the first points of the quarter from the free throw line, to lead by 1 point at 31-32 but then the Gladiators went on a 9-0 run. It was back and forth from then on out in the half’s opening period and it forced Sheffield into a time-out. With the score 45-36, the Gladiators were on team fouls again in the 3rd quarter, but they led by 14 points by the quarter’s buzzer – 55-41.

The 4th quarter started with traded baskets but, the Gladiators kept their 14-point lead, which was extended with 2 free throws from Bintou Lo – who stood out throughout the game. After a 5-1 Caledonia run, Sheffield Hatters responded with a basket but it only closed the gap to 18 points. Melita Emmanuel-Carr fouled out with five minutes remaining, only adding to Sheffield’s woes despite their lead early in the game. Caledonia eventually saw out the game, coming home with an impressive 69-56 win in front of the BBC cameras.

Bintou Lo led the way for Caledonia, with 12 points and 13 rebounds, giving her the game MVP award. Next up, Miguel Ortega’s side take on Oaklands Wolves on the road, hoping to secure the head-to-head against them.

Cheshire Phoenix vs Caledonia Gladiators

Report via British Basketball League

With London victorious over Bristol Flyers on Saturday (February 17), the Phoenix entered the game knowing they had to beat the Gladiators to prevent the Lions from winning back-to-back Championships.

This year’s Trophy winners welcomed the previous holders, with both sides level on points but Ben Thomas’ side possessing two games in hand.

With the teams 1-1 for the season, fans watched on in anticipation of a closely contested game. In the opening stages, the lead changed hands, before Cheshire were able to pull away.

Aaryn Rai led the Phoenix in the first period, carving out scoring opportunities for himself and others, while also commanding the boards with authority.

Cheshire ended the first quarter with the advantage, but back came the Gladiators.

On his return from injury, star guard Patrick Whelan entered the game from the bench, and had an almost immediate impact.

Just moments into the second quarter, Whelan scored to make it a two-point game, before recent signing Quade Green pushed the Glads ahead.

Laquincy Rideau responded with a pair of baskets to re-establish a Cheshire lead combining deep sharpshooting with creative finishes in the paint.

Whelan handed the hosts a trio of makes from beyond the arc to push Caledonia ahead once again. Rai replied with a pair of converted lay-ups however, which tied the game at 44 at the half.

Ben Thomas may have reminded his team exactly what was at stake, as the Phoenix returned to this one with a renewed level of intensity. Skyler White put his stamp on the game with steady shooting to spark a Cheshire run, with Rideau and Stephens helping to inspire the momentum shift.

Rai pressed on, pulling the strings for Cheshire on the offensive end, but the Gladiators shot with conviction to chase the deficit.

A game of cat and mouse played out for a few minutes, with Whelan and Green letting it fly from range, as Caledonia chipped away.

Just when the Scottish side saw an avenue to victory,  a string of turnovers allowed the Phoenix to punished them in transition, with Laquincy Rideau and Maceo Jack leading the charge.

An explosive couple of minutes from Cheshire had suddenly put them up by 16 at the end of the third.

The Gladiators stopped the bleeding as the final quarter began, trimming the gap to 10 points, aided by a scoring burst from the explosive Green. But when the run stopped, they struggled to break the double-digit mark as time ticked away.

Things got a little chippy in the final minute, with a hard foul and subsequent altercation resulting in Fahro Alihodzic’s exit. Rideau drained a pair of shots from the free-throw line, to effectively ice the game.