Rebels Close to Stopping the In Form Blazers
Essex Rebels were looking to continue their good form in a tough match up against league leaders Derby Trail Blazers.
The game started with high tempo from both teams, trading baskets at will but not executing on the defensive end. Derby slowly ramped up the pressure and edged the first quarter 31 – 24.
Essex coach Ross Norfolk, rallied the rebels and came out firing in the 2nd quarter. Jordan Gray, Josh Moore and Ben Winter started to ignite the Rebels offence with added effort defensively. This allowed Essex to finish the quarter with a huge 15 – 3 run, and went into half time with a lead of 5, 53 – 48.
After the half time interval, Derby changed their game plan and went to a zone defence. This disrupted the home sides rhythm offensively and allowed the trail blazers to get out on the break to score easy baskets in transition.
Derby had a huge quarter and the scoreline had been flipped, 75 – 65 to the visitors.
Essex needed to step up the pressure and begin to execute their plays in the half court. The Rebels chipped away at the quarter taking the small advantages they had. With 2 minutes to play it was a one possession game. Lee Hodges made a crucial lay up to bring the score line to 91 – 91 with a minute on the clock.
Essex were unable to get a defensive stop and sent A. Ugo to the foul line after a unsportsmanlike foul.
There was one last hope for Essex as the clocked stopped at 8 seconds to go. A timeout by coach Norfolk left Essex with a chance to tie or win the game. Unfortunately the Rebels couldn’t get a clean shot off and the game finished 93 – 91 to Derby.
Essex were led by Jordan Gray with 20 points with Rory Winter and Josh Moore chipping in 15 points.
Another thriller for the Essex Rebels as the team now look ahead to Sunday 14th Feb where they host Thames Valley Cavaliers.