Essex Rebels Take Down Newcastle Eagles in Away Game Thriller
The Essex Rebels started their long week of games on Monday, taking on the Newcastle Eagles in game one of four over the next seven days. The Rebels who were coming fresh off a tough defeat to Caledonia on Saturday needed to get the win to maintain their play-off position, and did just that behind a Claire Paxton triple double and a final score of 86-73.
Despite a quick basket from Lu Costa to start the game, the Rebels were unable to convert on the offensive end for another five minutes of game play. On the other end, the home team began to find their stride early and led the Rebels going into the second quarter up 17-12. The Rebels finally started to see some baskets drop to bring the game to within three points, but some fouls on the Rebels allowed Newcastle to regain a 7-point lead with just five minutes remaining in the quarter. It then became the Maddie Mcvicar show, as she dropped 17 points for Newcastle to help the home team take a 9-point lead into half-time.
Claire Paxton continued her first half form, scoring a nice runner at the basket and forcing Newcastle to take a bad shot to start the half. This helped jump start the Rebels to a 12-2 run in just two minutes to take the lead by one. However, a timeout called by Newcastle helped them steady their ship and they responded with a run of their own to go up by six with just under two minutes to go in the quarter. A three from Ashleigh Munns to end the third brought the game to 53-52 in favour of the home team. The fourth quarter started with another Ashleigh Munns three and two mid-range floaters by Carla Bieg Salazar to help the Rebels regain some footing with seven minutes remaining in the game. A very questionable call led to a technical on the Rebels which appeared to put a stop on their momentum, but Dre Kohlhaas and Carla Bieg Salazar turned up the heat as they combined for 13 points in just four minutes to help the Rebels to a 12-point lead with three minutes remaining. Ashleigh Munns third three of the game was quickly followed by an and-one lay-up by Lu Costa, to help seal the win for the Rebels.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say after the game, “It really was a game of two completely different halves of basketball. We struggled to get anything going in the first, shooting just below 30% from the floor, even though we were getting some good looks at the basket. The second half we got a really good look at what this team is capable of doing offensively, with Carla, Dre, Claire, Lu, and Ash really heating up and making some big shots for us. I think that came with us being really unselfish with the ball and moving it well against Newcastle’s zone. It’s a step in the right direction now to finish off the regular season strong, but we have to play better defence moving forward and with almost no time to practice now with this last week of so many games, that improvement is just going to have to come down to heart and hustle.”
Top Performers Rebels:
Claire Paxton – 11 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists
Carla Bieg Salazar – 19 points, 2 assists
Dre Kohlhaas – 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Ashleigh Munns – 15 points, 4 assists
Lu Costa – 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists
Top Performers Eagles:
Maddie Mcvicar – 29 points, 2 steals, 2 assists
Marina Fernandez Pardo – 24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Rachel Bland – 9 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists