London Lions
Essex Rebels

The London Lions lift the Betty Codona Trophy for the fourth straight year, powering past the Essex Rebels in the final.

Megan Gustafson was crowned with the MVP award after scoring 15 points in 20 minutes of action.

After blowing past Nottingham, Sevenoaks and Leicester in recent seasons, the London Lions took to the court in Birmingham with the intention of winning their fourth straight WBBL Trophy.

Stella Kaltsidou’s team are on an unbeaten streak that dates back to September, where they fell short to DVTK in their EuroLeague home qualifier. Since then, the Lions have won 19 straight games and looked to seek their 20th against Essex - a team they beat by 28 points back in October.

On that day, Dayzsha Rogan stood out for the Rebels with 17 points. The American once again led her team with 15 points in the final, which was not enough  against a well-oiled London team.

The Lions set the pace in the opening 10 minutes as they launched an impressive 26-13 run. The team from the capital were moving the ball well and playing selflessly, which was evident in their 30 assists on the afternoon.

In the second quarter, the Rebels fought back well by putting up 22 points of their own, which matched London’s tally in the period.

Essex were finding most of their success from the free throw line, where they scored 15 of their 67 points. Ashley Cookson’s team also performed better than the Lions from beyond the arc in the match, where they shot a steady 35.4% in comparison to London’s 23.8%.

However, due to their impressive opening quarter, the Lions took a 13-point lead into the second half.

Coming hot out of the blocks, the defending champions were able to build on their lead - which increased to 19 points with 10 minutes left in the game. The Lions were excellent in every department, excelling with their scoring, rebounding and playmaking whilst remaining active on defence. 

Great Britain international Holly Winterburn accumulated 12 assists in the contest, which was the most ever recorded in a WBBL Trophy Final game.

The Rebels managed to shave four points off the deficit in the final quarter, which was a credit to their determination even in the later stages of the game.

However, it was the London Lions who lifted the Betty Codona Trophy on the afternoon, winning the game by a 16-point margin.

The champions will now look to do the same in this season’s WBBL Championship and EuroCup. They will return to action next Saturday against the Leicester Riders.

Watch the full game here.

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