WBBL | Caledonia Gladiators 81 Cardiff Met Archers 53

Written by Sam Scouller

The Caledonia Gladiators secured a spot in the WBBL playoff semi-finals with a blowout victory over the Cardiff Met Archers. The Scottish side took a huge 81-53 win in a one-off quarter final meeting between the sides at the Emirates Arena.

Cardiff came into the fixture on good form with two wins from their last three games while the Gladiators came off a four-wins from five run. The Gladiators started the game with Robyn Lewis, Tea Adams, Erin McGarrachan, Jamila Thompson and Abbie Wolf on the court.

The Archers opened the scoring through a Lauren Saiki layup. The lead didn’t last long for the visitors though as Thompson levelled the game with a jump shot. Erin McGarrachan put Caledonia in front with an early three-pointer. The Gladiators held onto their lead for the rest of the first quarter as they dashed into a double-digit lead very quickly. By the end of the quarter, the Scots had a powerful 22-point lead thanks to impressive efforts from McGarrachan, Lewis and Chantelle Handy.

It was a different story in the second quarter though as the Archers clamped down on the Caledonia offense and cut down the deficit. Shannon Hatch led Cardiff in their attempt to make a comeback as she bagged nine points for the Welsh side in the second quarter. CMA did well to clamp down in the defensive end and muzzle the Gladiators’ offense as they dominated the scoring to bring the deficit down to just 12 points. Adams had the final say in the first half though as she scored on a driving layup to end the quarter at 40-28 in favour of the hosts.

Cardiff started the third quarter off well as Saiki cut the deficit down to 10 points with a jump shot. Miguel Marco’s side responded fast though as Abbie Wolf and Thompson combined to produce six points in under 90 seconds. Thompson was dominating the key in the third quarter as she picked up constant rebounds. The Gladiators expanded the gap once again with Tamara Jovancevic landing two explosive three-pointers to put the hosts ahead by 23. Caledonia closed out the quarter with their largest advantage of the game at 63-37

Wolf led the final quarter for the hosts as she landed four points in the opening two minutes. Shannon Hatch landed a three-pointer early on for Cardiff but they couldn’t get anything started as the Gladiators ran away with it. Adams broke the 70-point mark with a slick layup before Wolf bagged a layup of her own while also drawing a foul to increase the lead to 30 points. Stef Collins’ Archers finished the game strong with a Levi Warren three-point shot but it was Caledonia’s day as they ran out 81-53 victors. The win now secures a spot in the playoff semi-finals for the Gladiators next week.