WBBL Cup final: Sevenoaks Suns 76-64 Durham Palatinates

Catherine Carr of Sevenoaks
Suns captain Catherine Carr had 10 assists and eight rebounds to go with her 14 points

Sevenoaks Suns won their first WBBL Cup with a 74-64 victory over Durham Palatinates in the final in Birmingham.

Great Britain international Janice Monakana scored 21 points to lead the Suns and was named most valuable player.

Catherine Carr added a further 14 in a typically influential display for Suns.

Durham, who have yet to win a BBL trophy, had 21 points from Betsy McDonald, who hit six three-pointers, while Claire Paxton added 17 points.

Durham stayed in touch in the first half thanks to the shooting of Paxton, who hit 11 points as the Palatinates trailed 32-24 at the interval.

But coach Lee Davie's pre-game warning that Sevenoaks had plenty of players who could score proved accurate in the third quarter, when the Suns notched 27 points to all but secure the trophy.

A scoring burst of 13-7, inspired by Julia Koppl's seven points in a row, gave them a 45-31 advantage and when Carr, Renee Busch and Monakana combined for a 14-3 run later in the third quarter, Sevenoaks led 59-37 and looked to have secured the game.

Durham started the fourth quarter with a 10-2 run including five points from Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee and the comeback looked possible until Monakana hit a pair of threes and Garrido added another to give the Suns a 15-point cushion with two minutes remaining.

The win means Sevenoaks are the first team to complete a set of all four WBBL trophies and their cup win is their seventh title in the past three seasons.

Suns captain Carr, the Suns' captain, was pleased her team had finally claimed the elusive trophy after last season's defeat in the final by Sheffield.

"In a couple of interviews I did before that was the main thing that was mentioned - 'one more to win', you know," said Carr.

"Now we've completed it so you guys can't ask us that anymore. We've now won the Cup, the Trophy, the [play-off] championship and the league. And I think we deserve it."

Durham's Fong, meanwhile, took heart from her side's fightback and hopes the two teams will meet again in the Trophy competition later in the season, having been drawn apart in February's semi-finals.

"I'm glad the way we fought to the end," she said. "It looked like we were going to bring it back. Hopefully we'll be seeing them again soon."

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