Barking Abbey were unable to secure another victory over Sevenoaks Suns after a 69-54 loss in the South East derby on Saturday at Barking Abbey Leisure Centre.
Savannah Wilkinson had 17 points, Katy Armanu 12 and Imani Whittington 8 for BA, but the home side were unable to overcome a poor third quarter and were without guard Charlotte Ellmore.
“Disappointing result, but the performance was good from the kids,” said BA play caller Mark Clark.
“I thought Imani and Savannah in particular had a pretty mature game. We ran out of steam in the third quarter, just could not execute and as the tempo of the game died we just couldn’t get enough going at the offensive end.
“When we closed it to six at the end of the third, we thought we had a realistic opportunity to beat Sevenoaks again for the third time this year, but they’ve got such maturity and quality in Cat Carr, Pederson and the addition of Renee, they’re a nice group, a Silverware winning team who have a lot of confidence. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”
But Suns had to come from behind early on when Savannah Wilkinson scored twice in a 9-3 run to put Crusaders 21-15 up after ten minutes.
And they bounced back in the second stanza, when Renee Busch initially cut the gap with a three-pointer, before a 10-2 surge, Dani Lozzi and Cat Carr scoring four each, gave the visitors the lead at 30-28.
When Lozzi scored another four in a row soon after, to move to 12 first half points, the lead reached 36-27. And it was double-figures immediately after the break as Suns scored the first six points, Anne Pedersen moving ahead of Lozzi, on 13, to cap that run as they held the hosts scoreless for five minutes.
But all of the last five meetings between these teams had been settled by single-digits, and Armanu then hit a three-pointer to spark a run of seven straight Barking points, narrowing the gap to 46-40 as they returned the defensive favour, and held Suns scoreless for an equivalent period of time.
The game was won when Pedersen and Carr opened the fourth quarter with the first two scores for the Suns, and the cushion was double-figures once more, maintained by another Busch triple heading into the final five minutes.
Sevenoaks have now won seven of their last nine games as they seek a highest ever WBBL finish (previous is fifth), led on this occasion by 21 points for Pedersen.