Round 19 Ligue Féminine 2 Clubs, unable to cover for injured players
Here is a quick review of the current roster in the Ligue Féminine 2 in round 19: it was alarming to see so many clubs with short rosters or players from the basketball academies making up the bench.
Very few clubs in the second division have a full professional roster and therefore are not in a position to replace injured players on medical replacement contracts. Instead they promote players from their youth teams to make up the bench.
Le Havre are one of the clubs struggling at the wrong end of the table for the second season in a row. They have players on professional contracts and have been able to replace Kayla Smith with Melissa Washington.
Her arrival did not change much for Le Havre who were beaten on the road by Dunkerque Malo (65-72).
Dace Joseph-Pierre (10 rebounds) and Aurélie Durand both scored 15 points each for the winners. Amélie Fresnais and blog writer Sabrina Scott also finished in double figures with 14 and 11 points each.
For Le Havre Bintou Dieme was one of many players who did not play in this round of games of LF2. Washington with 10 points was one of four players in double figures.
Franck Simon was yet again on the wrong side as his team Léon Tregor was beaten by the CFBB (53-62). Léon Tregor travelled to Paris with just nine players and played most of the match with a six-player rotation.
The CFBB were led to victory by Olivia Epoupa with 14 points, 4 assists and 8 rebounds. Despite this victory the CFBB are still in last position.
Perpignan: thinking about hosting final four after beating Illkirch-Graffenstaden
The injury list of Illkirch-Graffenstaden is so long at the moment that the club has been forced to bring in and play youth players from their academy.
In the first game between the two teams Perpignan won on the road (85-68) with Hélèna Ciak powering her way to 24 points and 13 rebounds.
Unfortunately during the game Pauline Lo, the captain from Prepignan, was hurt while battling for a loose ball and will be out for at least six weeks.
A week later in the rescheduled game from round 6, Perpignan won at home (80-63) with all 10 players scoring at least 3 points.
With this sweep Perpignan are now alone at the top of Ligue Féminine 2, two games clear of Toulouse in second place.
Perpignan have won their last 16 games and with seven games remaining in the regular season they are just one win away from qualifying for the 2012 LF2 Final Four, which they also hope to host.
With Toulouse nobody is really sure how they will perform. However they have a habit of winning even when playing badly. They beat Limoges (52-38) on the road despite shooting just 19-from-60 from the floor. Limoges did not help themselves with 28 turnovers.
Nina Bogicevi from Toulouse and Hillary Klimowicz from Limoges led their sides in scoring with 12 points each.
Etoile de Voiron Basket Féminin pulled off the biggest victory of round 19 by beating a full strength COB Calais team (77-67). Voiron were without three key players for the match: Faëza Bouderra, Magali Mendy and Khadidiatou Gassama.
The missing players were replaced by players from their academy who all participated in the victory. Bertrand Parvaud, the head coach of Voiron, is known in French coaching circles as "Zorro", a nickname he acquired in his ten years at Limoges for his knack of winning matches against the odds.
Cyrielle Recoura had the staring role with a game high 23 points for the winners. For COB Calais this was the end of an eight-game winning streak but remain in third place.
US Laveyron moved into the top four after over-coming Reims (71-67) in a match they dominated. However their poor finishing allowed Reims to stay in contact to the end. The experience of Aïda Fall (25 points and 10 rebounds) negated the height advantage of Astan Dabo.
To make matters worse for Armentières Héléna Akmouche reported in sick and did not travel. Basically with just five fit players Armentières matched Roche Vendeé for 38 minutes before conceding (70-78).
L2F, round 19 results:
CFBB 63-52 Léon Trégor Limoges 38-52 Toulouse Dunkerque Malo 72-65 Le Havre Illkirch Graffenstaden 68-85 Perpignan Voiron 77-67 COB Calais Roche Vendée 78-70 Armentières US Laveyron 71-67 Reims BF