Essex Rebel woman put Manchester Mystics under their spell as Tia Freeman bags 1,000 career points
The Essex Rebels Women’s basketball team looked to bounce back quick after their loss to the London Lions on Saturday with a trip up to Manchester to face the Mystics for the first time this season. After a hard fought game from both teams, the Rebels managed to hold on and capture their fifth league win, maintaining their place in the middle of the table.
The Mystics were the first team to settle into the game, knocking down a couple of threes to start and gaining a lead. It was then the Rebels turn with Daniella Turner, Sune Swart, and Tia Freeman all contributing buckets and keeping the game level. As the game progressed it appeared the home court advantage was strong, as the Mystics seemed unable to miss, seeing three players climb into double digit scoring and gaining a 6 point lead. Tia Freeman answered for the Rebels scoring her 1,000 WBBL point from the foul line and was supported by superb shooting from Jade Mbam who knocked down three 3-pointers to help the Rebels take the lead heading into the half.
Turner, Swart, and Freeman picked up where they left off in the third quarter, all contributing on the offensive end and helping the Rebels extend their lead. On the other end it became a heroic effort by Leah Mcderment for the Mystics, as she went on a scoring run of her own, reaching 22 points in the game with a quarter still to go. A three from Dre Kohlhaas late in the 3rd gave the Rebels a 13 point lead, but a breakdown on the defensive end saw the Mystics respond immediately, bringing the Rebel lead to 11 with 10 minutes remaining. Jade continued her shooting clinic on her former home court, scoring a long 3 to start the quarter, before a circus shot finish by Dre added another 3 points to the growing Rebels lead. However, the Mystics refused to fold, as Same Keltos hit some big shots to keep her team in contention and reducing the Rebels lead to 6 points with 5 minutes remaining. As the gap dwindled the Rebels began to play tight, missing multiple opportunities around the rim and committing some unforced turnovers, but an and-1 finish by Ashleigh Munns and a corner 3-pointer from Daniella Turner helped provide some breathing room for the Rebels. Time then ran out on the Mystics comeback and the Rebels got the win with a final score of 83-71.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this review of the game, “Coming off a loss less than 24 hours earlier we knew we had to quickly refocus and not let it impact us today. Credit to Manchester who came out ready to play and really showed how much they have been improving throughout the season. We’ve got two weeks now to try and work on some things and get back to playing how we know we can play because as we are seeing every team in the league is making improvements weekly and we can’t be satisfied with where we are.”
Top Performers –
*Tia Freeman – 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
*Daniella Turner – 16 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds
*Sune Swart – 18 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks
*Jade Mbam – 12 points (4-4 from 3)
*S. Keltos – 32 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists
*L. Mcderment – 24 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists
*S. Sanchez – 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals