Rebels cliff hanger against Wildcats to close out season at Essex Sport Arena
The final regular season game was a thriller, as the Essex Rebels took the Nottingham Wildcats to the wire, unfortunately falling just short 91-88. Both teams had clinched play-off spots but were in a clash to determine their final places. With the result, the Rebels finish 7th on the league table and will face the Sevenoaks Suns in a weeks’ time.
The Wildcats jumped out to a quick start in the first quarter, pouring in 31 points. However, the Rebels kept pace and entered the second quarter only down 8 points. The second quarter appeared to go in the Rebels favour, as they came back to within 3 before the Wildcats capped off the half with a couple of baskets to go up by 10 points.
The second half was all Rebels as they came out firing and bringing the game to within one point. The entire fourth quarter was back-and-forth as the crowd got to witness an exciting game with full talent from both teams on display. With 15 seconds left the Rebels were down 3 and came up with a steal and got to the rim for a lay-up attempt. Unfortunately, the ball just rimmed out and no foul was called despite contact, and the Wildcats regained possession and were sent to the foul line. The pressure was on, and the crowd was loud, leading to two missed foul shots and the ball back in the Rebels’ hands, but a final desperation shot just missed.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say after the game, “It was a great battle between both teams and a great display of the talent that is in this league. It just felt that we ran out of time and needed about 30 more seconds to have gotten the win. But it is what it is and our full attention now turns to the play-offs and getting prepared to take on the Suns.”
Top Performers Rebels:
Claire Paxton – 15 points, 9 rebounds
Dre Kohlhaas – 15 points, 2 rebounds
Angel Waithe – 14 points, 18 rebounds
Ashleigh Munns – 13 points, 2 assists
Lu Costa – 10 points, 7 rebounds
Top Performers Wildcats:
S. Edmonds – 26 points, 6 assists
P. Egharevba – 19 points, 16 rebounds
B. Pannell – 17 points, 4 rebounds
J. Gyles – 13 points, 6 rebounds