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Posts Tagged ‘Leicester Riders’

Makana Stone slashes to the hoop. (Photo property Leicester Riders)

It was like being on a rollercoaster.

The Leicester Riders stormed back from 18 down in the second half Sunday, only to see their playoff game against the Nottingham Wildcats swing back out of control in the late going.

Coupeville’sĀ Makana Stone rippled the nets for a game-tying bucket with seconds to play in the third quarter, but the Wildcats surged in the fourth to capture an 81-69 win in Women’s British Basketball League action.

The quarterfinal loss ends the season for Leicester, which went 18-13 in Stone’s rookie season.

Nottingham advances to play the Sevenoaks Suns in the WBBL semifinals, while the undefeated London Lions play the Caledonia Pride.

Leicester entered the postseason having finished fourth in the 13-team league but struggled early against the #5 Wildcats.

Trailing 27-13 after one quarter of play, the Riders saw the deficit stretch out to 44-28 at the half, before Nottingham topped out at with an 18-point lead early in the third.

Sparked by the play of its American assassin, Leicester chipped away at the lead, eventually getting all the way back when Stone dropped a long jumper with 31 ticks on the clock.

Unfortunately for the Riders, Nottingham rebounded quickly in the fourth quarter, stretching the lead back out to double-digits thanks to strong long-distance shooting.

Stone finished with six points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in her finale.

Hannah Robb and Oceana Hamilton paced the Riders with 19 points apiece, while Nottingham was led by Brooklyn Pannell, who banked in 21.

After stellar runs at Whitman College and Loughborough University, Stone made an auspicious debut as a pro hoops player.

She was a starter most of the season, finishing with 275 points, 193 rebounds, 41 assists, 25 steals, and five blocks.

 

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Coupeville’s Makana Stone had a double-double in her regular season finale. (Photo property Leicester Riders)

It was a wild finish to the regular season.

Fighting for a playoff berth Sunday, the Manchester Met Mystics pulled out a last-second 102-97 overtime win over the Leicester Riders.

It wasn’t enough however, as Manchester was eliminated from postseason contention anyway, while the Riders and Coupeville ace Makana Stone are still playoff-bound.

Even with the loss, Leicester claims fourth place in the 13-team Women’s British Basketball League with a 14-10 record.

The Riders, 18-12 overall, open the postseason Sunday, May 1 against the fifth-seeded Nottingham Wildcats (12-12).

A victory will propel Stone and Co. into a semifinal matchup against the winner of a game between the #1 London Lions (24-0) and #8 Durham Palatinates (11-13).

London is only the second team in WBBL history to finish the regular season undefeated.

Sunday’s finale was a donnybrook from start to finish, with both teams refusing to bend.

Manchester snatched a 25-20 lead after one quarter of play, stretched the advantage out to 45-39 at the half, then held on for a 64-58 lead heading into the fourth.

Leicester came up big at the end, however, forcing overtime with the teams knotted at 83-83.

One of the biggest shots of the final regular frame came courtesy Stone, who rippled the nets on a three-ball with less than two minutes to play.

In the extra five-minute period, Leicester staked itself to a 97-96 lead with 49 seconds to play after Oceana Hamilton drained a pair of free throws.

Manchester responded with a jumper to retake the lead, though, then netted four free throws in the final moments while the Riders clanked their final four field goal opportunities.

Stone had another strong performance, recording 14 points and 12 rebounds, while also connecting on three assists.

Anna Lappenkuper netted 29 to pace Leicester, while Manchester gunner Erika Williams smoked the nets for a game-high 39, including eight treys.

With at least one more game left in her rookie season of professional basketball, Stone has tallied 269 points, 187 rebounds, 40 assists, 24 steals, and three blocks.

 

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone takes a break from her professional basketball career to talk with British students. (Photo property Leicester Riders)

She set the nets on fire.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone knocked down a game-high 21 points Saturday, spurring the Leicester Riders to a key victory.

Romping past the Cardiff Met Archers 88-58, Leicester claimed its third victory in its last four games and clinched fourth place in the 13-team Women’s British Basketball League.

With two regular season games left on the schedule, the Riders are 14-8 in league action, 18-10 overall.

Saturday’s victory was a nice bounce-back for Leicester, which less than 24 hours earlier had racked up a season-low in points in a loss to the high-flying Sevenoaks Suns.

Picking Cardiff Met apart, Stone and Co. jumped out to a 24-18 lead after one quarter of play, and never relinquished the advantage.

Up 45-28 at the half, the Riders pushed the lead out to 63-42 heading into the fourth quarter, then tossed in another 25 points over the final 10 minutes just to put an exclamation point on things.

Stone, one of the few Leicester players to consistently score against Sevenoaks, snatched seven rebounds Saturday to go with her 21-point explosion.

Brooklyn Mcalear-Fanus added 15 points, while Oceana Hamilton and Alison Lewis each went for 14, as the Riders shared the ball all day.

As she nears the end of her first season of pro hoops, Stone has tallied 253 points, 170 rebounds, 36 assists, 24 steals, and three blocks.

Leicester caps the regular season with a rematch against Sevenoaks Apr. 22, before a bout with Manchester Met two days later.

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Makana Stone rumbles in the paint. (Photo property Leicester Riders)

The offense never got out of neutral.

Held to a season-low scoring output Friday, the Leicester Riders fell 62-41 to a highly ranked Sevenoaks Suns squad seeking a bounce-back win.

A game after surrendering 102 points in a shocking upset to a lower-rung Nottingham franchise, the Suns were in lock-down mode in the lone Women’s British Basketball League game of the day.

The loss drops Leicester to 13-8 in league play, 17-10 overall.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone was one of the few Riders to find holes in the Sevenoaks defense, banging down low for 12 points and 10 rebounds.

She and Hannah Robb tied for team-high scoring stats, while Suns star Janice Monakana topped all players with 16 points.

Sevenoaks, which sits in second place in the 13-team WBBL, held off fourth place Leicester at every step of the way.

The Suns grabbed an early 20-14 lead, before stretching the advantage to 32-21 by the half.

Leicester trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half and could never get the lead down to single-digits, hitting on just 14 of 62 field goal attempts in the game.

Stone, in her first season of professional basketball, continues to build her stats game, however.

With the double-double, she has 232 points, 163 rebounds, 36 assists, 24 steals, and three blocked shots on the season.

Leicester returns to action Saturday with a game against the Cardiff Met Archers, who are 5-16 in WBBL regular season play.

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Makana Stone, Hype Queen. (Photo property Leicester Riders)

Now it’s a winning streak.

Surviving a rough fourth quarter Monday, the Leicester Riders held on to knock off the Newcastle Eagles 75-65 in Women’s British Basketball League action.

Sparked by the play of Coupeville grad Makana Stone, who banked in 12 points — including a pair of three-balls — the Riders improve to 13-7 in league play, 17-9 overall.

Leicester’s second win in a three-day span, it keeps the squad firmly in fourth place in the 13-team WBBL with the playoffs on the horizon.

Up next for the Riders is a back-to-back set of games April 15-16, with the first one against the high-flying Sevenoaks Suns, who sit at 18-1 in league play.

Monday’s game belonged to Leicester from opening tip through the end of the third quarter, before things got a little frantic at the end.

The Riders jumped out to a 20-9 lead after one quarter of play on their home court, then stretched the lead out to 46-21 by the half.

While the third quarter was much-more evenly played, Leicester was still up 67-43 heading into the game’s final 10 minutes.

Then things got a bit dicey, as Newcastle closed on a 22-8 tear, cutting its deficit all the way back to 10 points with a tick under two minutes to play.

From that point on, however, the two teams combined to go scoreless over the game’s final one minute and 59 seconds.

Stone added four rebounds, an assist, and a steal to go with her 12 points, while teammate Oceana Hamilton popped for 21 points as four Riders scored in double-digits.

Newcastle got most of its offensive punch from the duo of Marina Fernandez Pardo and Layne Murphy, who knocked down 21 and 20 points, respectively.

As she plays her first season of pro ball, Stone continues to acquit herself nicely.

The former Wolf has 220 points, 153 rebounds, 36 assists, 23 steals, and three blocked shots on the year.

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