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Derby Trailblazers Academy 56 – 64 Nottingham Academy Wildcats

An exciting encounter at Derby College on Wednesday saw Nottingham drive back down the A52 with a hard fought 64-56 victory in this local derby.

The Trailblazers sprung out to an early lead as Rountree had a fine start, netting 8 first quarter points to help establish a 23-7 gap. But the Wildcats fought back with Evison draining a pair of threes early in the second quarter while on her way to 15 during the period, by half time it was 36-39 to the visitors.

The second half was tense, both teams threw everything at each other. At times it was like a heavyweight boxing match, the sports therapist being put to work on several occasions strapping peoples wounds. Despite a low scoring half the lead changed 7 times and it was hard to know who’d come out on top.

With the scores tied at 54 it was the Wildcats who found the crucial run, an 8-0 streak in the final couple of minutes proved critical, as Nottingham captain Rose draining the last 5 points to ensure the win.

After the game coach Bowen said: “I’m proud of the fight and effort the girls showed today. It’s heartbreaking losing such a close game but there will be some many positives when we review the game. Yes, lots of areas to improve but the girls are working phenomenally hard and are very coachable so it’s going to be fun helping them improve each week.”

Top scorers for Derby were Kenny Hamilton with 16 and Anneleise Rountree on 15.

Nottingham were led by 24 points from Maisie Evison, 16 from Shaniya Rose 16 and 15 from Mariam Olawoyin.

Next week Nottingham host Sheffield while Derby head to Charnwood.