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Posts Tagged ‘Loughborough University’

Makana Stone brings the ball up court Saturday in England. (Photo property Loughborough University)

It’s an effective formula.

Makana Stone plus a basketball usually equals a win.

When the Coupeville High School grad is in the lineup for Loughborough University this season, the Riders are 7-1.

Without her, 0-2.

So, it was a good thing Stone was back in uniform Saturday, and back to layin’ down a beatin’ on her opponents.

Going off for 15 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, and two assists, the former Wolf helped spark Loughborough to a wire-to-wire win over host CoLA Southwark.

The 81-55 victory keeps the Riders (7-3) in second-place in England’s National Basketball League, within shouting distance of frontrunner Ipswich (10-1), whose only loss came on a last-second Stone bucket earlier this season.

Saturday, Loughborough jumped on CoLA Southwark early, exploding to a 27-12 lead after one quarter of play.

From there, the Riders got methodical, ringing up 18-11, 18-17, and 18-15 advantages across the remaining three quarters of play.

Loughborough spread out its attack, with Molly James pumping in a game-high 18 points to lead four Riders into double-digits scoring.

Stone added her 15, while Robyn Ainge banked in 13, and Katie Januszewska rounded out the attack with 12 points and 11 boards.

Coupeville’s progeny has dropped a double-double in every game she’s played overseas, and now sits with 136 points, 121 rebounds, 17 assists, and 25 steals on the season.

Stone and Co. return to action next Saturday, March 6, when they face off with Worcester.

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Makana Stone returned to play Saturday, recording another double-double to lead her British hoops team to its fifth-straight win. (Photo property Loughborough University)

It was a nice way to ease back into things.

Playing for the first time in a month-and-a-half, Coupeville grad Makana Stone and the Loughborough University women’s basketball team romped to a big win Saturday in England.

With the former Wolf throwing down her seventh double-double in as many games, tallying 18 points and snatching 15 rebounds, the Riders drilled winless BA London 77-62.

The victory lifts Loughborough to 6-2 on the season and pulls it just a half-game back of National Basketball League leader Ipswich (6-1), a team Stone and Co. have already beaten this season.

After closing out 2020 with back-to-back one-point victories, the Riders ended up sitting out longer than expected.

The standard Christmas break morphed into a COVID-related shutdown, as Britain’s Division One teams were sidelined after Prime Minister Boris Johnson instituted a nation-wide halt of most activity in response to new variations in the virus.

Now that basketball is returning to play, the league schedule has been tweaked, and at least one school, Bristol Academy, has chosen to end its season.

Loughborough will have another break, not playing again until Sunday, February 14, when it’s scheduled to match-up with the CoLA Southwark Pride.

Current plans call for the relaunched season to run through March 28, when the standings will be frozen.

After that, schools will be broken into two pools, with the top six in one group and teams #7-#11 in another.

Eight teams make the NBL playoffs, set to tip-off May 15-16, with the championship game the weekend of May 29-30.

Saturday, all the focus was just on getting back into the flow of actually playing games, something Stone and her Riders teammates had been awaiting.

With their opponent not having seen action since mid-November, and coming into play having lost all four of its games, opportunity abounded.

Consider the moment seized. Though maybe not as easily as expected.

Loughborough claimed its first lead at 3-1 on a Molly James three-ball, and never trailed again, but didn’t really pull away from BA London until midway through the fourth quarter.

Stone poured in 10 of her team-high 18 points in the opening frame, lifting the Riders to a 25-20 lead at the first break, but the Lions stayed competitive most of the day.

The two teams were tied 36-36 just before the half, and Loughborough’s lead sat at just 63-58 with a hair over three-and-a-half minutes to play in the game.

At which point the Riders put the ball in Stone’s hands, cheering as their American assassin banked in three buckets to spur a game-busting 9-2 run.

Coupeville’s progeny narrowly missed out on a triple-double, making off with nine steals to go with her 18 points and 15 boards.

She also dealt out two assists while playing nearly 34 minutes.

Stone was one of five Riders to net double-digit scoring totals Saturday, with Sasha Lecuyer (13), James (12), Robyn Ainge (11), and Kacey Cox (10) joining her.

On the season, Stone has racked up 121 points, 110 rebounds, 15 assists, and 22 steals.

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The pandemic is pausing Makana Stone’s latest basketball season. (Photo property Loughborough University)

The pause will be longer.

With Britain in a national lockdown after a substantial rise in COVID-19 cases, elite-level basketball has been sidelined.

At least for a bit.

Coupeville graduate Makana Stone, who plays for Loughborough University, was scheduled to return to action January 9.

But the Riders, who went to winter break boasting a 5-2 record, postponed their clash with Southwark.

Now, Basketball England has gone a step further, announcing Wednesday that all Women’s National Basketball League Division One games will be put on hold until Jan. 30 because of the lockdown.

That takes games against Cardiff (Jan. 16) and Worcester (Jan. 23) off the schedule for Stone and Co., with the hope Loughborough will return to play Jan. 30 against Bristol.

The pause for WNBL1 teams is better than what non-elite senior and junior teams received, as their seasons were outright cancelled.

Basketball England plans to employee COVID lateral flow testing for its players, which generally returns results in 30 minutes.

We have taken note of the increased risk currently posed by the rate of COVID-19 and the concerns of our clubs and players at elite level,” said Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett. “(We) will expand the testing currently taking place to keep everyone involved as safe as possible.”

The Riders currently sit a game back of league-leader Ipswich (6-1), who they toppled thanks to a buzzer-beater by Stone.

Loughborough is 5-1 since the Coupeville grad pulled on a uniform, and the former Wolf has been among the best players in the league.

Stone has recorded a double-double in every game she’s played in England, tallying 103 points, 95 rebounds, 13 assists, and 13 steals.

She’s #2 in the WNBL in rebounding (15.8 a night), #3 in efficiency (159.0), #7 in scoring (17.2), and #8 in free throw percentage (79.3%).

When Stone is not pursuing her hoop dreams, the Whitman College grad is busy earning a Master’s in Exercise Physiology.

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Britain’s COVID-related shutdown will keep Makana Stone from returning to the hardwood this weekend. (Photo property Loughborough University)

Boris Johnson has done what her opponents couldn’t do – shut down Makana Stone.

The Coupeville grad, who has been tearing up the Women’s National Basketball League in Britain, was set to return from winter break with a game this Saturday, January 9.

Now, though, she and her teammates are on hold. At least for a week.

Johnson, England’s wild-haired Prime Minister, announced a new national lockdown Monday, as Britain deals with a substantial rise in COVID-19 cases.

While most activities, including sports, are shut down, there is an exemption for “elite-level teams.”

Despite that, 38 of 40 games originally scheduled to be played Saturday by NBL teams have been postponed.

That includes Stone and the Loughborough University women facing off with Southwark.

For now, the Riders next game, which is Jan. 16 against Cardiff, remains on the schedule.

The situation remains fluid, with decision-makers weighing all options.

“We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation with a combination of national lockdown and elite exemption, alongside serious concerns for the welfare of those active in the game,” said Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett.

“We will be taking a short period of time to assess whether if, in light of the current circumstances, and with the increased risk from the new variant of Covid-19 to our members’ health and safety, it is right for us to press on with competition for our elite game and what the ramifications are for the sport as a whole.”

The Loughborough women went to break riding a hot streak.

The Riders are 5-2, a game back of league-leader Ipswich (6-1), who they toppled thanks to a buzzer-beater by Stone.

Loughborough is 5-1 since the Coupeville grad pulled on a uniform, and the former Wolf has been among the best players in the league.

Stone has recorded a double-double in every game she’s played in England, tallying 103 points, 95 rebounds, 13 assists, and 13 steals.

She’s currently #2 in the WNBL in rebounding (15.8 a night), #3 in efficiency (159.0), #7 in scoring (17.2), and #8 in free throw percentage (79.3%).

When she’s not pursuing her hoop dreams, the Whitman College grad is busy chasing a Master’s in Exercise Physiology.

While there’s a great deal of uncertainty right now, the easy-going Stone continues to navigate things as best as possible.

“I’m just taking slow, deep breaths!,” she said with a laugh.

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Makana Stone has been a fixture on the Team of the Week while playing basketball in England. (Photo property of FocusHoops)

Forget about using a pencil. They can write her name in with a marker at this point.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone, tearing up the hardwood in jolly ol’ England, was tabbed Tuesday to the FocusHoops Team of the Week.

It’s the fourth time in six weeks the former Wolf has appeared on the list, with two Player of the Week honors already to her credit.

This time out, Flo Ward of Bristol earned top honors after a 28-point performance, but Stone was hot on her heels.

The American Assassin racked up a game-high 18 points, a team-best 13 rebounds, and four assists, hitting the game-winning free throw Saturday as Loughborough University toppled Nottingham Trent 71-70.

Stone has played in six games for the Riders, putting together a double-double each time out.

Loughborough heads to winter break with a 5-2 record, tied for second-place in the 12-team Women’s National Basketball League.

The Riders, who are 5-1 since Stone pulled on a jersey, sit a game back of Ipswich (6-1), who they beat on a last-second shot from Coupeville’s progeny.

On the season, the Whitman grad has 103 points, 95 rebounds, 13 assists, and 13 steals.

Stone is currently #2 in the WNBL in rebounding (15.8 a night), #3 in efficiency (159.0), #7 in scoring (17.2), and #8 in free throw percentage (79.3%).

When she’s not pursuing her hoop dreams, she’s busy chasing a Master’s in Exercise Physiology.

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