University of Sunderland Women’s Basketball 1st’s prepare for BUCS League action | Picture Credit: Ian Crow

Coach Harry Wood looked at the positives despite his University of Sunderland Women’s Basketball 1st’s 34-74 loss to unbeaten York St John University Women’s 1st’s.

The away side showed their skill from the off, but the Wearsider’s put up a good fight to end the quarter with only an eight points difference.

In the second quarter, the visitors proved why they were the group leaders as the home side struggled to keep up with York’s attacks as they fell behind a further 26-points.

Sunderland’s women improved in the third quarter as they doubled their score and defended their opponents attacks well, and went into the final quarter 27-52.

York’s women went on to swing the match back in their favour as the outstanding effort shown by Sunderland throughout the match is ended as the match ends with a 40-point difference.

Sunderland were without club president Magdalena Cybulska, but Wood looked at the positives his women can take from a match against a team he believes will be promoted.

He said: “They are miles ahead of everybody in Division 3B, they’ll get promoted next year and be playing in a higher level, which is fair enough.

“I also look for positives and because we didn’t have Magda, a lot of the others seemed to step up and played quite well, all of the players who haven’t had much court time and managed to get a bit of a game, and they all stepped up and they all contributed and everybody worked hard.”

In the second quarter, York sparked controversy as one of their players stayed down with all of her teammates yelling for her to stay down and as Sunderland were on the attack, the play was pulled back even though she told the referee prior to this that she was ok.

This caused Wood to get a little annoyed, but admits it would not have affected the result.

However, he does feel it was “unsportsmanlike” and thinks a technical foul should have been called with “shots (free throws) and possession” although he wouldn’t say the referees were wrong.

Overall, the coach is happy the performance and is not discouraged by the result, looking to the fixtures after new year’s.

He said: “I am quite pleased with the performance. Magda who scores a lot of points, 20 or 30 points a game for us, you add 30 points onto our total and we wouldn’t be far away from them.

“And in the new year we are going to have to play some of the teams that are lower down the league. I’m not at all dispirited by our performance at all and I’m quite pleased.”

Sunderland player, Mildred Lee, thought the whole team played really well and tried their best without their captain Magdalena, and she insists that she is “proud of them (her teammates)”.

Lee thought the team needs to work on more strategies and plans as she looked ahead to the next game.

She said: “Just more strategies, more plans because we did do it in training, but I don’t think it was enough because when we go onto the court we tend to forget it and be more serious in standings because really its quite hectic on court.”

Sunderland next return to BUCS League action when they face University of Bradford Women’s 1st’s away from home on 31 January.