Steph Gandy wants Sheffield Hatters to gain some momentum ahead of Nottingham Wildcats clasg

Steph Gandy of City Of Sheffield Hatters
Steph Gandy of City Of Sheffield Hatters

Stephanie Gandy is looking for one more Hatters victory to gather momentum going into the play-offs.

Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters will face off against league rival Nottingham Wildcats in the end of season league decider tomorrow - and both teams have only lost one game each this season.

Gandy, aged 32, previously played basketball at the University of Michigan - so knows all about pressure going into a crucial game.

She said: “We have a lot of things to win. We’ve been working hard and being top of the league has helped the confidence.

“It’s a honour to play for any team in the WBBL. But the Hatters have a special place in history.”

The Hatters won the inaugral WBBL trophy earlier in the season, edging out the Wildcats 76-62 in Birmingham.

And Gandy said the trophy filled the team with confidence: “Winning any silverware is good in a season, but it all comes down to the end of the season, the last few games and the play-offs,” she said.

Head coach Vanessa Ellis praised her star player.

“She’s awesome,” Ellis said.

“And she’s playing her best basketball for three years... she’s been an inspiration. It was doubtful if she’d play due to health reasons, but she’s come back a different player.”

Gandy has averaged over 20 points per game this season, and scored 28 points in the regular season’s penultimate game against the Manchester Mystics.

Ellis played for Hatters throughout the 1990s and knows her team has a lot to live up to; the club has won 22 league titles since 1990.

The early days of the team’s success was overseen by coaching stalwart Betty Codona MBE, Ellis’s mother.

And Ellis said: “We are really confident.

“Although we’ve had lots of injuries and problems, we’ve kept winning and given ourselves a great opportunity going into the last game to win the league.”

Both teams expect to meet again in the WBBL play-off final and the Hatters are looking for any mental advantage they can gain over Nottingham going into the final game of the regular season.

n The Linbraze Arrows ended their recent slump with a home victory over London United, as 24 points from player of the year Denis Scott helped them to a 98-76 success.

Chris Dixon had a quiet 20 points but stepped up whenever the Arrows were threatened.

Arrows Scorers; Scott 24, Dixon 20, Kelly 12, Baugh 11, Lycoudis 8, Anderson 7, Dacres 6, Dennison 4, Wheatcroft 4.

The win takes the Arrows to 12-8 with two tough games on the road to come.

Cameran McCallum has picked up a groin injury, which has ended his season.

An Arrows spokesperson said: “We wish him success in the future and a speedy recovery.”