Ligue Féminine 2 COB Calais are now ready for the challenge
COB Calais' relegation from the Ligue Féminine de Basketball (LFB) last season made them immediate favourites for promotion before this season even started.
Cyril Sicsic, the head coach, explained at the beginning of 2011-2012 that despite four players returning from last season the first team roster would require some time to get to know each other and understand the requirements of playing basketball in LF2.
He was correct in his assessment because his team lost on the opening day of the season. Worse was to come with the 1-point home defeat against Dunkerque Malo in the derby match.
So after four games Calais had already lost two games and by the end of October they had added another defeat.
As all coaches of second division basketball know, November is the month that ambitions for regular season are lost. Not many teams that have played badly in November have ever won promotion.
Calais' recovery started last weekend with a victory against local rivals and promotion candidates Armentières. They followed this up this weekend by beating Toulouse Métropole (66-54) who were also relegated from the LFB last season.
10 minutes of fireworks by Calais were enough for a victory
Toulouse, still without Nina Bogacevic, were blown apart during the first 10 minutes (24-9) with Floriane Herrscher and Aurélie Cibert scoring 10 and 8 points each.
Toulouse attempted to come back in the second quarter but Calais remained on top with with three three-pointers by Mélanie Devaux (right) (40-31) at the break.
Calais do not play well generally in the third quarter and allowed their guests to make it a 6-point game going into the final quarter (51-45).
Within 90 seconds of the last quarter Toulouse trailed by 2 points (49-51).
Toulouse got no closer and Calais pulled away to win (66-54).
Devaux and Herrscher finished the game with 14 points each while Manon Sinico and Cibert added 13 and 11 points each. With this victory COB Calais have moved into second place.
Toulouse were led by Agathe Degorces with 15 points.
Toulouse Métropole are still in first place in the Ligue Féminine 2 with a single game advantage over Calais.
Léon Trégor have questions to answer, Roche Vendée punished
Léon Trégor may have broken one of the rules of playing basketball in the Ligue Féminine 2 which may cost them as many as six points.
The problem has come about because the club played five transfer players in two matches this season which they won. They did not have five other players under the age of 23 on the official score sheet which is a must under these rules.
Roche Vendée fell foul of the rule and have lost the points for two games: 1 victory and 1 defeat which has sent them from joint 4th to 13th place in the regular season standings.
The penalty works in the way that the games are removed from the win or loss column from the offending team and placed in the penalty section. In France you get 1 point for a loss and 2 points for a win. Roche Vendée have lost three points for playing the match plus a penalty point for each match which is a total of five points.
Roche Vendeé hosted Léon Trégor this weekend and won comfortably (89-70) with five players in double digits. Once again Gabriela Kubatova led her team with 17 points, 5 assists and 9 rebounds.
Illkirch-Graffenstaden's winning streak continues, this time at home to US Laveyron (66-61). As usual Amina Njonkou (20 points and 10 rebounds) and Céline Schmitt-Sender (14 points and 13 rebounds) carried the SIG through.
Dunkerque Malo were given a scare by their guests from Reims and needed 15 minutes to get going and then won comfortably (76-53) with Dace Pierre-Joseph once again the key offensive player with 20 points.
Le Havre beat the CFBB (74-50) for their second straight victory.
The most remarkable game of the evening saw Voiron hold on to beat Limoges (76-71). Voiron went into the final quarter leading (60-40) but where then blow away with a 16-31 run in electrifying final ten minutes.
Limoges traveled to this match without their coach Jimmy Rela and could have won this match if they had given the ball more to Hillary Klimowicz. She was not missing and went 8-of-8 from the floor. She was also 6-of-8 from the free-throw line and picked up 13 rebounds with her 22 points in defeat.
Armentieres' Ligue Féminine losing streak continues with a home defeat against Perpignan (62-65). Stéphane Lalart went through a bad run of results at the same stage last season and stepped down as head coach.
The match once again went down to the wire but the luck was not for the hosts.
All the LF2 results of the 9th week:
CFBB 50-74 Le Havre Calais 66-54 Toulouse Illkirch-Graffenstaden 66-61 US Laveyron Voiron 76-71 Limoges Armentières 62-65 Perpignan Roche Vendée 89-70 Léon Trégor Dunkerque Malo 76-53 Reims