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Hibernians, Luxol maintain winning momentum in women’s league

Luxol player Paula Ellul and Danika Galea battle for the rebound last weekend. Photo: Wally Galea

CAFFE MOAK LUXOL   76

ARMS DEPIRO 67        

(26-13, 16-15, 16-17, 18-22)

Caffe Moak Luxol made it two wins in a row to jump to a

solitary second place in the standings.

A strong start was a significant factor in this encounter as Luxol opened an early double-digit lead. ARMS Depiro then faced a constant tussle to try to annihilate the deficit but to no avail.

Antoinette Borg, Josephine Diaby and American guard Jenniffer Oramas set Luxol’s point tally going with the game’s initial eight points.

Although Depiro broke their duck after shots from the charity line from their foreign import player Hannah Johnson, Luxol kept their pace and moved to a

17-6 lead after eight minutes of play.

Despite late quarter hoops from Julia Xerri and Nicole Agius for the Mtarfa side, Luxol did not falter and a Paula Ellul late basket had them 26-13 ahead at the end of the first rubber.

The St Andrews’ side kept their tempo even when play restarted as an 8-0 run had them enjoying a hefty 36-15 lead.

Depiro improved their offensive play by the end of the half and managed to reduce the deficit to 28-42 at the interval.

The third quarter was a balanced affair although Luxol never looked in danger of losing their lead which never went down to a single-digit value throughout the third quarter.

The margin did, go down to 51-60, momentarily in the 32nd minute after a Johnson hoop. But Luxol immediately replied with a seven-point run and then continued to make sure of the victory with final hoops from Nicole Vella and Sarah Pace.

Depiro ended the game with three consecutive threeballs shared between Agius and Xerri.      

Luxol: L. Fenech Pace, S. Pace 14, M. Mercieca, N. Vella 4, H. Galea, S. Vella, A. Borg 5, P. Ellul 7, J. Diaby 18, S. Bonfiglio, A. Fenech Pace, J. Oramas 28. 

Depiro: H. Johnson 22, M. Caruana 2, N. Agius 15, J. Xerri 18, J. Mallia, L. Duncan,T. Mifsud, No. Agius, C. Ciantar 5, N. Hili, N. Borg 1, D. Galea 4.

Referees: K. Dworniczak, N. Azzopardi, I. Ciurariu.

Hibernians      71

Starlites Naxxar           34                          

(20-10, 23-13, 21-7, 7-4)

Hibs maintained their winning streak after beating Starlites Naxxar quite comfortably, save the first quarter which was evenly matched.

From that point onwards, the Paolites started increasing their lead as they also registered two respective nine-point runs in the first half and a 14-point rally in the third quarter.

With the outcome already decided, the game dipped in quality in the final rubber with only a total of five hoops shared between the two sides in the last ten minutes.

Hibs’ foreign import, centre Kenyotta Jenkins, who once again dominated the boards, netting a 30-point personal tally, set Hibs going with captain Samantha Brincat adding a trey and a hoop for a very early 7-0 Hibs lead.

Three-balls from Andrea Saliba and Kayleigh Portelli, around hoops from Mikela Riolo and Maria Bonett, gave some initial impetus to the Naxxar side as they somewhat neutralised Hibs’ initial efforts which were boosted also by a brace of baskets from Asleigh van Vliet.

Despite two early second-quarter treys from Starlites’ Cristina Curmi, the game started taking its definite course in the same quarter after Hibs netted two respective 9-0 runs to open a significant 43-23 half-time lead.

Starlites’ expected reaction did not materialise with the Paolites continuing to increase their lead and taking full command after a streak of 14 consecutive points with contributions also from Kirsty Caruana and Marie Buhagiar.

The last quarter was a drab affair with both sides clearly accepting the outcome.

HIBERNIANS: M. Buhagiar 5, Y. Bonett 3, A. Van Vliet 12, S. Brincat 8, J. Abela, C. Camilleri, K. Jenkins 30, N. Farrugia 1, K. Caruana 8, J. Borg Cardona 4.

STARLITES: A. Saliba 7, M. Riolo 6, S. Farrugia Tabone, M. Bonett 2, D. Camilleri, K. Portelli 3, M. Fenech 2, C. Vella 3, S. Wilke, S. Davies 3, C. Curmi 8.

Referees:  D. Torok, V. Nikolic, Z. Dobrosavljevic.

Standings: Hibs 6, Caffe Moak Luxol 5, ARMS Depiro 4, Starlites Naxxar 3.

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