Caledonia Pride achieve historic first victory in WBBL

Caledonia Pride's Robyn Lewis
Caledonia Pride's Robyn Lewis
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Caledonia Pride have a win at last and a well-deserved one at that.

Scotland’s improving Women’s BBL team came back from a tough double-header away weekend with a convincing 65-55 victory over fellow rookies Oaklands Wolves at St Albans after another narrow defeat by Cardiff Archers 73-71, the previous day.

That means Pride are off the bottom of the league with a home game still to come against the winless Wolves at Oriam on April 1.

It could so easily have been another heartbreak “nearly” moment when Wolves, 29-39 down at half-time, fought back in the next 10 minutes to take a one-point lead before starting the final quarter 44-45 down.

But, unlike some recent home games, Pride survived the third quarter sag to prevail, thanks partly to a spritely display by Edinburgh University student Beth Mackie who top-scored with 15 points as well as giving three assists.

With American Tricia Oakes turning in another strong “double double” of 14 points and 12 rebounds and Sarah Thomson hitting the target again with 13 points and seven rebounds Pride were able to ride out the pressure to “get the monkey off their backs”.

“I’m really proud of the girls and the way they handled what was a tough weekend,” said Coach Bart Sengers who gave the team two days off training when they got back in the early hours of Monday morning.

“They had a four-hour coach trip after the Cardiff game and didn’t arrive in London till 11.30pm and then had to get to St Albans in the morning – not ideal.”

With their next game not until a week on Sunday and that a home one against Northumbria who only beat them in overtime in their recent Trophy clash at Oriam, Sengers must feel that his side can now move on and pick up more points.

Falkirk Fury, meanwhile, are the new Scottish League champions, holding off defending champions Boroughmuir Blaze 74-68 in the deciding game before a full-house crowd at the Mariner SC.