Women’s basketball hold their nerve to record opening win

York’s women’s basketball team held their nerve today against a testing Northumbria side to secure a 39 – 32 victory in their first game of the new season

UNIVERSITY OF YORK 39-32 NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY
BUCS Northern Conference 2B

Images: Agatha Torrance

York’s women’s basketball team held their nerve today against a testing Northumbria side to secure a 39–32 victory in their first game of the new season.

After a frenetic opening few minutes, Northumbria drew first blood with a two pointer after a string of strong attacking moves. Inaccuracy in the two point area cost York early on, but by the end of the second quarter York had moved ahead to a precarious four point lead leaving the score 22–18 to the home side at half time.

What followed was a period of dominant attacking play from a team who have not even got a week of practice under their belts. Solid defence blocked numerous Northumbria attacks early in the third quarter but it was a cagey start to the third quarter with neither side making a breakthrough until well into the fifth minute.

The deadlock was finally broken when Christin Kirchhuebel finished a slick attacking play with a skilled two point finish to lead the home side to a six point lead. Frustration appeared to filter into the Northumbrian play, giving York a chance to seize the initiative and storm ahead to a ten point lead following a period of careless play by the visiting side.

By the end of the third quarter York reached a commanding 31–21 lead, but Northumbria proved the game was not yet over by launching an impressive comeback early in the fourth and final quarter.

They quickly moved to 31–23 with some rapid play appearing to catch an unsuspecting York team by surprise. They proved their credentials even further by coming within two points of the home side leaving the score perched on a tentative 31–29.

The tense scoreline appeared to wake up the York team and Kirchhuebel led another strong attacking team play to power the women to a 35–29 lead. York proceeded to hold their nerve after almost blowing a ten point lead.

By the final stages of the match play had slowed down and York saw themselves safely over the line to a seven point victory. Despite Northumbria’s best efforts their comeback was too little too late and they were unable to stop a courageous York record their opening win of the season.

Captain Stefania Mataragka said afterwards that it was a “very tough game after not even a week of training but everyone wanted to win and there was good hustle”. She commented on the new players saying that the “freshers look promising and look as though they have been playing for York for years”. Mataragka stated she is also looking forward to a “really good year” and she believes that as the year passes “we’ll only get better”.

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