Brixton Topcats landed the final WBBL Play-Off spot and a contest against the Nottingham Wildcats after a hard fought victory against Manchester Mystics at on Sunday. Jenaya Wade-Fray, who has been at the heart of the Topcats’ best performances this season, racked up 30 points for the home side, as they picked up their third win in the league in front of a large crowd at the Brixton Rec.
Wade-Fray, who was part of the basketball team representing Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, scored six early points in an 8-1 opening, before the Mystics fought back with a 15-2 response to push their way into the lead. The visitors had their biggest lead of the game at 22-13 before the Topcats demolished the Mystics advantage with a run of 10 unanswered points.
In a contest that saw both sides battling to take control it was the home side who looked the most threatening leading 62-53 inside the final four minutes. Despite a late rally from the Manchester side, the Topcats were able to see off their opponents and secure their place in the Play-Offs.
Topcats coach Steve Vear hailed his team’s valiant performance in a dramatic game that ended with his side claiming a 69-61 victory over Manchester.
“The stakes were high and if we lost this game our season was over with”, said Vear. “Manchester are a tough team and they have been in tight games against most of their opponents this season. There was a moment in the game when it could have gone either way.
“I’m really happy that we stayed together and got over the line. The crowd were great today and it really helped that we were playing in front of a packed house. That really helped us over the line. This is great for us going into the playoffs. We going to play Nottingham away, and they are a top team.
“Until last week they had not lost a game all season, so they will be coming off the back of a loss and we will be going in off the back of a win.
“Momentum is with us and confidence is with us, but they are a tough, tough team so we are going to have to go there and play our best basketball to have a chance of winning. I’m confident we can go there and cause an upset.”