Brixton Topcats 69 (Wade-Fray 30, Robinson 11, Grant 7)
Manchester Mystics 61 (Browne 15, Welling 14, Matejcikova 12)
Brixton Topcats claimed the final spot in the Play-Offs after securing 8th spot in the WBBL Championship with a 69-61 victory against Manchester Mystics. Jenaya Wade-Fray led the way with an impressive 30 points as the Topcats held on for their third league win of the season to set up a first round clash with Nottingham Wildcats in the post-season.
Wade-Fray, a 2012 Olympian scored six early points in an 8-1 opening, but the Mystics hit back with a 15-2 response to storm into the lead. The visitors had their biggest lead of the game at 22-13 before the Topcats wiped out the advantage with a run of 10 unanswered points.
Brixton went into half-time with a slender two-point lead and used an 8-0 run early in the third to begin to pull away with a nine-point gap opened up ahead of the fourth, at 52-43.
The home side maintained their control in the final period, and looked in command at 62-53 inside the final four minutes. However, Manchester refused to give in and scored six points in a row to make it a one-possession game with 1:50 left on the clock.
Wade-Fray then landed a crucial three with the Topcats able to seal the win and begin celebrating their achievement of making the Play-Offs. Head Coach Steve Vear was pleased to see fight in the team which he has been asking for all season.
“The build up to the game with the winner making the playoffs was always going to make it that extra bit more exciting for everyone involved. I was pleased we showed a lot of fight and didn’t give up when we went down. That is something we have struggled with this season so gives us nice momentum heading into the playoffs”
He continued to highlight some key players who stepped up big in this win or go home game.
“Jenaya Wade-Fray again showed why she is one of the best players in the league top scoring with 30 pts, where she made timely scores for us when we most needed them. She was huge for us! I also feel Paige Robinson had her best game for us causing Mystics some problems inside. But who stood out for me the most was Brenda Kipewu who has been showing massive improvements on taking more leadership as a point guard. She was the difference maker for us down the stretch to close out the game.”
“Lastly I want to thank the fans who came out in force to support us. We had a packed house and the noise and support was a huge factor in getting us over the hurdle into the playoffs.”
Full game stats here
Brixton Topcats have no tougher task than visiting top of the league Nottingham Wildcats next Saturday 23rd April in the first round of the WBBL playoffs.