Sunday 20th September
Blackhawks Girls Tournament
Two Blackhawks teams entered the first of our 6 tournaments to be played over the course of this season. They were called an A and B squad, but in reality there was very little between them and their results reflected it. The Blackhawks A squad was in a group with Richmond and Epsom.
They showed their class in the first game against Epsom claiming a comprehensive 28-6 victory, but were rocked by losing Molly P to injury for the rest of the day. Their second game against Richmond, one of the pre-tournament favourites, was a much tougher affair. Richmond raced out to a 14-4 lead in the first half .but the A squad started to find their feet in the second half sharing the spoils 8-8 to finish 12-22. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks B squad got off to a brilliant start beating a strong Portsmouth side 13-8. A tough loss to Farnborough, 16-18 followed which meant the final game against reading was the decide as to who would take a semi-final berth, and it was a real thriller. Both teams traded baskets as the lead changed hands but Reading just got their nose out in front at the half leading 14-11. The second half saw Blackhawks B edge it 8-6 and whilst we had the chances to win the game, a few shots just rimmed out.
Blackhawks B proceeded to the 5th and 6th place play off against Epsom Sharks. We struggled a bit with the height of their players and some fatigue was creeping in. Neither team was able to make a decisive break and the scores ended 10-10 which meant the game was decided by sudden death free throws, which Epsom held their nerve to win.
Blackhawks A semi-final against Portsmouth was a classic. The teams traded baskets at will in the first half finishing 14-16 to Portsmouth. The second half was a much more cagey affair with some nerves creeping in on both teams. Blackhawks A were 2 down with seconds to play and converted a final shot to tie the game and take it to sudden death free throws. Special mention here to Phoebe who rushed off the court at the final whistle after taking a blow to the stomach, only to rush back on and score the winning free throw to take Blackhawks A to the final against Richmond.
The final between Blackhawks A and Richmond was a master class in defensive play from both teams. Liana did a superb job of marking Richmond's biggest scoring threat and in a tight first half, Blackhawks A edged it 4-2. However, Richmond regrouped and came out stronger in the second half. They quickly took a 5-4 lead. Blackhawks A had the chances to keep the game close but a few nerves and some fatigue was setting in. In the final few minutes, Richmond edged ahead 7-4 and then 9-4 and the game was over.
Both coaches were hugely impressed by both the A and B squads performances. Although the B squad won 1 game, that win was against Portsmouth who eventually took 3rd place and they never lost a game by more than 2 points, having had a chance to win all of them. Blackhawks A squad's performances got better as the tournament went on and showed some serious defensive strength in the semi-final and final.
Woking A's squad was: Melisa, Phoebe, Emily, Liana, Tamara, Molly P, Molly M and Zara.
Woking B's squad was: Laura, Aleena, Anthonia, Niamh, Isabella, Amelia, Anna and Erin.
Tournament MVPs: A squad – Phoebe (amazing work rate, scoring threat and defence). B Squad – Anthonia (relentless energy, amazing on the fast break and first to get back defensively)
Defensive Player: A squad – Liana (a masterclass in man to man marking). B Squad – Isabella (rebound after rebound after rebound, always made it hard for the opponents to score inside)
Team Player: A Squad – Molly M (gave 110% all day, leaving her opponents in no doubt who was the boss on defence!). B Squad – Laura (captained the B squad with authority and was so supportive to all her team mates)
Special thanks go out to Molly P and Erin who stayed to support their team mates all day despite injuries which kept them out of the games. Also thanks to the parents who supported the teams so well.