Essex Rebels Win Overtime Thriller
The Essex Rebels Women’s basketball team captured their first win of the season this past weekend in a thrilling game over the Nottingham Wildcats. The game, which had to go into extra time after the score was tied at the end of 40-minutes, was action packed throughout. It was an impressive turnaround for the Rebels, who only a week previously lost to the Wildcats in the first game of the season by a large margin.
The first quarter saw both teams battle back and forth each possession as they found their rhythm. This took the Wildcats into the second quarter up by three points; however it was the Rebels who found then found their footing, outscoring their opponents 30-17. This allowed them to enter the half-time break up by ten points.
The second half saw the Wildcats claw back off some long-distance shots and increased pressure, but the Rebels handled their opponents’ run with poise and patience as they stuck to the game plan and executed when it mattered most. It was the final two minutes of regulation that was nail-biting, when the Wildcats captain Siobhan Prior hit her only points of the game from way past the three-point line to put the away team up by two points with 90 seconds remaining. That lead was short-lived, as Lucrezia Costa responded quickly with an impressive move in the post, as both teams then fought hard to prevent the other from scoring, leading to an extra five minutes being added to the game.
Overtime quickly went in favour of the home team, as the Rebels scored seven points quickly and found themselves finishing the game at the foul line as the Wildcats scrambled to stop the clock. Despite a final three from the visitors, it was the Rebels who celebrated the win as the final buzzer sounded, with a final score of 95-91.
Coach Tom Sadler had this to say about his team’s performance, “I could not be more proud of the way this team bounced back after two tough losses earlier in the week. They have come into practice every single day this week with the single purpose of getting better and they did just that. We had some amazing individual performances, but to be honest I think the whole team would agree that this was a huge team effort that has been in the making for some time now. Whether a player played 40 minutes or 1 minute, the way this group shows up ready to go every day and pushes each other to get better helps us to compete. It also came down to the players’ buying in to our game plan and the goals we set. They worked hard on the boards and outrebounded Nottingham, and they held Nottingham to only 10 second chance points. Two areas that really hurt us a week ago. I’m excited what else this team can accomplish this year when they play with energy and effort for the whole game.”
If you would like to relive this victory with the Rebels, it is available on the team’s YouTube page.
Top Performers Rebels –
Carla Bieg Salazar – 30 points / 6 assists
Andrea Kohlhaas – 28 points / 7 rebounds
Lucrezia Costa – 12 points / 20 rebounds
Ashleigh Munns – 11 points / 8 assists
Top Performers Wildcats –
Simone Costa – 24 points
Chelsea Shumpert – 21 points / 6 assists
Moa Lundqvist – 16 points / 8 rebounds
Support your Rebels as they get back on the court next Saturday at 1pm as they take on the Newcastle Eagles. The game, which will be streamed live, will have a link available via the teams’ website and social media accounts.
Tom Sadler, Head Coach, Essex Rebels