Mansfield Giants Women were beatan 68-63 by Manchester Mystics II at home in what is shaping up to be a very competitive Women’s League North.
The Mystics turned up right from the off, scoring nine unanswered points forcing Giants to call an early time out. The time out seemed to work as Steph Jones came out to score an ‘and 1’, followed by a fast break to close the gap.
However, Mystics continued to pour the points in as Giants fired back with a Jo Richards ‘three’ to finish the quarter 8-23.
In the second quarter, the Giants seemed to find their stride after a somewhat disjointed first quarter.
Charlotte Levitt stepped up to score some much needed points in the paint, whilst Alison Bridge and Beth Wheldon stepped in to sink some long range shots, bringing the Mystics early lead down to just five points by half time.
The second half went basket for basket, with some solid defense from both sides as Franky Harper and Rachel Campbell upped the intensity for Giants.
Jade Clemenson also joined in the scoring for the home side, converting free throws as both teams went into foul trouble.
However, it was Chedell Cruickshank that came out firing, dropping in ‘threes’ and moving the ball to feed Levitt inside.
Giants just edged the scoring 18-17 as they went into the final quarter still trailing by five.
However, Mystics still had another gear, coming out of the break to score eight straight points.
But Cruickshank and Wheldon dug deep, answering back with four straight ‘Three’s’ to keep the team in contention.
With hopes still high, Giants played to the very last seconds but could not pull back the five points that had plagued them since the first quarter.
Coach Gail Richards Said: “We were slow out of the blocks today and that haunted us for the rest of the game, despite winning or equaling every other quarter.
“Having said that, we played some really good basketball and I think the standard of the league this year is particularly competitive which can see any team beat each other on their day.”