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WEABL 2022/23 half-term recap – title chasers & individual stats leaders

There were statements of intent from CoLA, Mystics and Wildcats in the opening half of the season.

As the women’s elite academy teams wrap up for Christmas, we take a look at the campaign so far and who is shining on the individual stats leaderboards – for the full lists see the link at foot of the article.

Southern Conference

Leading the WEABL Southern Conference at the winter break are City of London Academy (5-1) as they bid to lock up the conference sooner rather than later.   

CoLA are in first place with 15 points, winning their last five games and taking revenge on Itchen Sixth Form (3-1) – who beat them at the season start – with a 70-49 victory earlier in December.  

The Southwark-based academy have five players in the top 10 for true shooting percentage, including Ebere Egbirika, who put away 23 points against Itchen.  

The Sotonians are having a decent league run too, however, beating CoLA 78-68, as well as Oaklands College and the John Madejski Academy. They sit in third on nine points, behind Copleston High School (3-2) on the same points, because of a better points differential. 

Copleston trio Christabel Osarobo, Louisa Gibbins and Liv Forster are making their presence felt in the efficiency standings, occupying places 3-5 on the leaderboard with Forster top of the overall scoring charts. 

John Madejski Academy are 0-5 and are sitting rock bottom in the conference and if they were hoping the new year might bring a change in fortunes, their first fixture is away against Itchen.  

To restore some pride, JMA will need to build a winning mentality through defensive players Elia Ando – third in the WEABL for rebounds – and Saioa San-Francisco, who is averaging three steals a game and nearly a block a game. As they say, defence wins games.  

STANDINGS

Northern Conference

Up in the Northern Conference things are a little murkier with both Manchester Mystics (3-1) and Nottingham Academy Wildcats (3-2) on nine points each in first and second respectively.    

The Mystics defensive record has been of note, with only 219 points scored against them and they boast the best rebounder in the WEABL in Daisy Bryan, dominating with 11 rebounds per game, as well as the second-best scorer in Isobel Robinson, who is averaging 24.5 points per game.   

Charnwood College Riders (1-2) and The Sheffield College (1-3) have won one game each both at the expense of the two teams that sit above them, with the Riders beating the Wildcats 87-83 and the Sheffielders winning at home against the Mystics 60-52. 

They face each other for the first time of the 2022/23 season in January.   

The Wildcats Natalie Charity shows the way in efficiency leaders with 24.7, followed by the Mystics’ Isobel Robinson (22) and Copleston’s Christabel Osarobo (19). 

Charity is a coach’s dream, an all-rounder for the modern game – third in scoring (20.7), second in rebounding (9.3), first in assists (7.7), third in steals (4.3) and fourth in blocked shots (0.7). 

Copleston have the scoring leader in their roster in Olivia Forster, who is averaging a superb 24.8 points per game – her last outing was 29 in a 100-61 dub over Oaklands College – and Mystics’ Robinson is channelling her inner Olajuwon with 1.5 blocks per game.

STANDINGS
STAT LEADERS

Image credit – Ipswich Basketball Club