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Coupeville grad Makana Stone knocked down 13 points Sunday, her best showing as a pro. (Photo property Leicester Riders)

It was a barn-burner, albeit one with a slightly sad ending.

The Leicester Riders, sparked by the play of Coupeville’s Makana Stone, went basket for basket with the Sheffield Hatters Sunday in England, before falling 77-74.

The loss drops the Riders to 1-2 in Women’s British Basketball League regular-season play, while Sheffield rises to 3-0 and is tied with the London Lions atop the 13-team conference.

Leicester is 4-2 overall during Stone’s inaugural season of professional hoops, having opened the season with three-straight wins in WBBL Cup play.

Sunday’s bout was an intense one, with Sheffield up by three at the first break, Leicester back in front by three at the half, then Sheffield clinging to a one-point advantage headed to the final frame.

Neither team led by more than a single possession in the second half, and Stone was dynamic down the stretch for Leicester.

Dropping in eight of her professional-best 13 points in the fourth quarter, the former Wolf hit her buckets in the biggest moments.

Stone staked Leicester to a 66-65 lead with 4:40 to go, then twice pulled the Riders within a point in the final minute of play.

Her driving layup with just 14 ticks on the clock got Leicester to within 75-74, but Sheffield held strong, netting a pair of free throws to set the final margin at three.

When she wasn’t stoppin’ and poppin’, Stone also made her presence felt in other ways, adding a rebound, three assists, and a steal to her line on the stat sheet.

Riders teammate Chelsea Jennings led all scorers with 20 points, while Sheffield benefited from the one-two combo of Helen Naylor and Ariona Gill, who went for 19 and 18, respectively.

Through her first six professional games, Stone has amassed 41 points, 42 rebounds, 11 assists, and three steals.

Leicester returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 23, when it squares off with Newcastle, which is 0-3 in regular-season play.

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Makana Stone snagged 12 boards Sunday in London. (Photo property Leicester Riders basketball)

Into every hoops career, a few losses must fall.

Despite Coupeville’s Makana Stone delivering her best rebounding performance as a pro, the Leicester Riders basketball squad suffered its first loss of the season Sunday.

Facing off with the also-undefeated London Lions, the Riders fell 85-53 on the road in Women’s British Basketball League action, evening their regular-season record at 1-1.

Counting a string of wins in the season-opening WBBL Cup, Leicester is 4-1 overall.

Stone, coming off the bench to play 34.5 minutes — third-most of any Riders player Sunday — hauled in 12 rebounds, her best showing in a Leicester uniform.

The former Wolf star also tallied two points, two assists, and a steal.

Chelsea Jennings and Brooklynn Mcalear paced Leicester with 16 and 13 points, respectively, while London’s Holly Winterburn led all scorers with a game-high 21.

The Riders got in a hole early, trailing 22-16 after one quarter of play, and were never able to catch back up with the Lions.

A 44-33 deficit at the half was slightly reduced to 57-48 heading into the fourth, but London proved a tough foe to topple down the stretch.

Closing the game with a 28-5 run in the final frame, the Lions made the game appear to be more of a blow-out than it truly was.

In her debut professional season Stone has racked up 28 points, 41 rebounds, eight assists, and two steals across her first five games.

She and her Leicester teammates return to action next Sunday, Oct. 17, when they play the Sheffield Hatters.

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Coupeville’s Makana Stone is 4-0 as a professional basketball player. (Photo property Leicester Riders)

Damian Lillard, watch your back.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone drained her first three-ball as a pro Saturday, part of a nine-point, eight-rebound performance which helped the Leicester Riders remain undefeated in Women’s British Basketball League action.

Coming off three straight wins in the WBBL Cup, the Riders opened regular-season play against the Nottingham Wildcats, and escaped with a 55-53 win.

Trailing by five points entering the fourth quarter, Leicester went with a unit which included Stone to kick off the final frame, and it paid off.

The former Wolf netted her trey with 8:18 to play, pulling the Riders back within 45-41.

A Stone jumper with 2:18 on the clock slashed the deficit to 50-49, before Chelsea Jennings put the Riders ahead with a layup.

Nottingham responded, though, draining its own three-ball to reclaim the lead, before Leicester gunner Hannah Robb knotted the game at 53-53 with just 34 seconds to play.

The Wildcats had a chance to win the game, but clanked their final shot, then committed the cardinal sin of fouling Leicester’s Anna Lappenkuper at the buzzer.

The Rider guard drained both free throws to cap the wild come-from-behind road win, lifting Leicester to 1-0, or 4-0 — depending on how you want to look at it.

Stone, who has been getting quality minutes off the bench in her inaugural pro season, has racked up 26 points, 29 rebounds, six assists, and a steal through the first four games.

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Makana Stone warms up Wednesday before playing in her third professional basketball game in Britain. (Photo property Leicester Riders)

She hasn’t lost as a pro.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone and the Leicester Riders thunked the Cardiff Met Archers 77-46 Wednesday in Women’s British Basketball League action, claiming their third-straight win to open the season.

With the victory, the Riders take top honors in their group at the WBBL Cup and advance to the semifinals, where they’ll square off with the Newcastle Eagles.

The London Lions and Sheffield Hatters play in the other half of the draw, with both games to be played at a still-to-be-determined date.

Leicester is the defending WBBL Cup champs, though this is Stone’s first go-around in the event.

The former Wolf came off the bench Wednesday to pile up five points, six rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 20.5 minutes of action.

Stone played the most of any Riders bench player.

Using a stifling defense, Leicester jumped all over Cardiff Met, turning a string of turnovers into quick buckets as it jumped out to a 25-8 lead by the first break.

The Riders took a slight step back in the second frame, but still led 39-24 at the half, before shoving things back out to 54-32 heading into the fourth.

Leicester put five players into double-digit scoring in the rout, with Louise Rouse and Brooklynn Mcalear-Fanus pacing the Riders with 14 points apiece.

Through three pro games, Stone has racked up 17 points, 21 rebounds, five assists, and a steal.

With a break in WBBL Cup action, Leicester opens the regular season Oct. 2, when it plays the Nottingham Wildcats.

 

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Makana Stone snagged 10 rebounds Sunday as she and her team rolled to a big win in Wales. (Photo property of Leicester Riders)

Two games, two wins.

Playing in her second professional basketball contest in as many days, Coupeville’s Makana Stone went for six points, 10 rebounds, and two assists Sunday as the Leicester Riders bounced Gloucester City 81-46.

The Women’s British Basketball League is kicking off the season with the WBBL Cup, and Sunday’s victory, coming in Wales, lifts the Riders to 2-0 in pool play.

Leicester returns to action Wednesday, Sept. 29 against Cardiff Met, which is also 2-0. The winner takes Group C and advances to the semifinals of the 13-team tourney.

Sunday, the Riders jumped on Gloucester City from the start and never relented.

Up 15-7 after one quarter of play, Leicester stretched the lead to 35-14 at the half, and 55-27 headed into the fourth.

Stone came off the bench to play a team-high 27.5 minutes, and seven of her 10 rebounds came on the offensive glass.

Leicester dominated on the boards, winning the battle to a crisp 65-42 tune, while holding Gloucester City to an ice-cold 23% shooting percentage from the field.

Through two games as a paid player, the former Wolf has racked up 12 points, 15 rebounds, and three assists.

Leicester put four players into double-digit scoring Sunday, with Louise Rouse leading the way with 14 points.

Katie Januszewska (12), Anna Lappenkuper (12), and Oceana Hamilton (11) also filled up the stat sheet for the Riders.

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