Caledonia cash in on a tired Essex Rebels side
The Essex Rebels continued north after their game on Saturday against Manchester, heading up to Glasgow to face the Caledonia Pride. This was another mid-table clash, with the Pride winning their last 6 games to climb up to 7th on the table heading into the game, and the Rebels sitting at 5th. However, a double win weekend wasn’t in the cards for Essex as they fell to Caledonia 79-67.
The Rebels started the game looking like a team who has played their last seven games on the road, committing 7 turnovers and giving up 8 offensive rebounds to Caledonia, allowing the home team to finish the quarter up 27-16. A spark at the start of the second quarter saw the Rebels go on an 8-0 run, to close the gap to 27-24, but a back-and-forth battle then ensued, as the teams entered half-time with Caledonia’s lead slightly smaller at 43-36.
The second half started much the same as the start of the game, with the Rebels committing turnovers and the Pride capitalising on them in transition. Some questionable foul and out-of-bounds calls added to the Rebels struggles, but two quick 3-pointers from Carla Bieg and Ashleigh Munns closed the gap to four points with one-minute remaining in the 3rd quarter. However, Caledonia responded quickly with a big three from Laken James brining the final quarter score to 63-57. Some crucial missed lay-ups throughout the 4th quarter proved costly for the Rebels looking to keep the gap small, as the Pride extended their lead to 17 with 5-minutes remaining and never looked back.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say after the game, “We looked exhausted today. Which is expected, having played a lot of games, on the road, in short succession. Pair that with playing against a really talented, high-energy, and confident team in Caledonia and you get the result we got today. But this is crunch time, and these are professional athletes, and this is the point in the season where you start to see which teams can dig deep and play with heart and mental toughness. Two things that are heart and mental toughness are rebounding and taking care of the ball. Caledonia had 17 offensive rebounds, and we committed 25 turnovers, that allowed them to take 18 more shots than us today. Those factors for us have been and will be our biggest hurdles the rest of the season.”
Top Performers Rebels –
Lu Costa – 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks
Carla Bieg – 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Tia Freeman – 10 points, 3 steals
Andrea Kohlhaas – 10 points
Top Performers Pride –
Erin Mcgarrahan – 22 points, 10 rebounds
Sian Phillips – 19 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks
Laken James – 19 points, 8 steals, 6 assists, 5 rebounds
Taylor Edwards – 10 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals