London Lions Tame the Essex Rebels at Home
The Essex Rebels Women’s basketball team returned to Championship league play this weekend as they faced top of the table London Lions on Saturday. The Rebels, who were coming off of a big win over Sevenoaks Suns in the first round of the Trophy last weekend, looked to maintain some positive momentum. The Lions, on the other hand, were looking to bounce back from a hard week which saw them get knocked out of EuroCup play and losing their former starting point guard and 3x league MVP Kennedy Leonard after releasing her from the team.
After a slow start by the Rebels, that saw them go down 7-0, a burst of scoring allowed them to gain a lead over the Lions by one point with just under 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter. However, after some changes were made by both teams, the Rebels began to struggle on both ends of the floor resulting in turnovers and missed scoring opportunities that allowed the Lions to find their rhythm. While the quarter ended with the Rebels down 13, the visitors lead continued to quickly grow in the second behind a 15-0 run. Tia Freeman finally got the Rebels back on the board with a hard take and finish to the basket, but it was the Lions who retained full control of the game as they went into the half up 53-22.
The second half started just as it left off, with Shequila Joseph of the London Lions scoring three 3-pointers in a row and the visitors outscoring the Rebels 11-5 in just three minutes of play. After a couple of slow minutes from both teams, a Sune Swart 3-pointer was immediately answered by a Lions 3-pointer and the gap between the teams continued to grow larger the rest of the game. The Rebels struggles continued to the last whistle, in what may have ended up being their worst offensive performance of the season, shooting just 28% from the floor (18% from 3), 56% from the foul line, and committing 26 turnovers. The final result seeing the London Lions win 106-44.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say after the game, “Everyone in the league knows what a challenge it is to play London. The investment that they’ve had in their team to be able to compete in Europe has been tremendous and is ultimately a great step forward for the league. We knew we had to do all the little things right in order to stay in a competitive game with them and unfortunately we really struggled to get anything positive to go our way on either end of the floor. We can only learn from this game and what the result is when we aren’t ready to play. It’s on us to bounce back quickly tomorrow against Manchester and move past this performance.”
Top Performers –
*Sune Swart – 13 points, 3 rebounds
*Tia Freeman – 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
*Megan Haines – 9 points, 6 rebounds
*K. Snytsina – 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
*H. Winterburn – 14 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals
*M. Herbert Harrigan – 13 points, 5 rebounds
*P. Hersler – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists
*S. Joseph – 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
*A. Stewart – 11 points, 4 rebounds
*T. Battle – 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists