London Lions vs Sevenoaks Suns: The Ultimate Playoff Preview
"In the playoffs, it's win or go home. You might not have a chance to look back at a game and say, 'Man, we didn't box out here.”
- Scottie Pippen
After taking the Newcastle Eagles to task in their return to South London, the Lions will now face off against the Sevenoaks Suns in the final four of the Women’s British Basketball League playoffs.
As predicted, Ty Battle played a massive role in the opening round of the post-season, recording an excellent 15-point, 8-rebound performance. The low-post specialist earnt each point scored, torching the Eagles in the paint, connecting on 66.7% of her shots.
As with the previous round, the showdown with the Sevenoaks Suns will be another “win or go home” game that will excite neutrals across the basketball landscape.
Head-to-Head Information: 3-0 London
The London Lions beat the Suns twice during the regular season and knocked the Surrey-based team out of the WBBL Cup 84-69 back in December.
Across their two league games, the Lions scored an average of 83.5 points against the Sevenoaks, conceding 68.5 points, a 15-point differential. In their recent league clash, Leslie Vorpahl put up her WBBL career-high totals of 16 points and eight assists to go with four rebounds and one steal.
Regular Season Team Stats…
London Lions: Finished the season at the top of every major statistic category:
- Points Per Game: 97.1 (1st in the WBBL)
- Rebounds Per Game: 43 (1st)
- Assist Per Game: 27.8 (1st)
- Steals Per Game: 14.6 (1st)
- Blocks Per Game: 3.9 (1st)
- 3-Point Percentage: 36.6% (1st)
- Field Goal Percentage: 49.4% (1st)
Sevenoaks Suns: Finished the regular season last in blocks per game but top five in 3-Point Percentage, Points Per Game, Rebounds Per Game and Field Goal Percentage.
- Points Per Game: 74.3 (4th)
- Rebounds Per Game: 38.2 (5th)
- Assist Per Game: 16.1 (8th)
- Steals Per Game: 9.2 (7th)
- Blocks Per Game: 1.6 (12th)
- 3-Point Percentage: 33.1% (3rd)
- Field Goal Percentage: 41.3% (4th)
Holly Winterburn – Playoff Holly Has Arrived!
The East Midlands is a proven playoff warrior, having last year averaged 19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists en route to the Lions’ first-ever post-season chip. Last week, the shifty guard continued her playoff tyranny recording 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and one steal against the Eagles. Expect much of the same, from Winterburn, in the Lions’ final-four clash against the Suns.
Sevenoaks Suns – Don’t Sleep on Their Snipers!
It’s well-known that the Sevenoaks Suns are one of the league's best shooting teams from the 3-point range. The Suns have spent the regular season draining 33.1% of their long-range shots, led by Renee Busch (44.7%), Amba Thompson (36.4%), and Julia Koppl (35.3%).
The Lions need to stay locked in to close out on their shooters and force them to put the ball on the floor. With the Suns being a bottom-four facilitating team in the league (16.1 assists), their shooters may struggle in the assists department when run off the line and if they can’t get points in the paint.
Players to Watch: London Lions
Holly Winterburn – Key Stats
The guard led the Lions in points and assists in the Lions’ first-round game against Newcastle.
2022-23 Regular Season
- 14.7 Points Per Game
- 6.8 Assists Per Game
- 5.3 Rebounds Per Game
- 21 Points
- 5 Assists
- 5 Rebounds
Players to Watch: Sevenoaks Suns
Renee Busch – Key Stats
Although Busch struggled in her first round playoff game, the veteran guard led the league in 3-point percentage and makes during the regular season.
2022-23 Regular Season
- 13.7 Points Per Game
- 44.7% 3-Point Percentage
- 3.6 Assists Per Game
- 8 Points
- 0% 3-Point Percentage
- 5 Assists