Rebels fall short against Gladiators
Essex Rebels took on the Caledonia Gladiators in their final regular season game last Sunday. The long road trip up to Glasgow was a real test for Essex and the team were looking to finish strong.
Prior to the group setting off on their early flight, Essex were undermanned as Andrea Kohlhaas and Daniella Turner were struck with illness, and Jade Mbam was still recovering from a dead leg.
The first quarter saw the Gladiators heat up from all areas of the court, with home side breaking the deadlock with some outside scoring.
The home side burst to a 20-6 run before Essex centre Sune Swart sealed the Caledonia defenders perfectly, receiving the ball down low for an easy layup.
Essex came back determinedly, with Alex Nessens splashing one in from outside the arc to make it a lively 23-13 scoreline.
But the Rebels struggled to contain the dynamic partnership of Handy and McGarrachan, whose timely cuts and well-timed passes allowed the Gladiators to keep on top.
Caledonia refused to let off entering the second quarter, with some solid offensive play, Essex needed to switch up their tactics if they wanted to eek back into the game.
Though struggling to convert from long range, the Rebels hit hard at the Gladiators defence, with Tia Freeman and Claire Paxton muscling their way down the lanes to earn trips to the free throw line.
Caledonia’s scoring persisted in the second half, with Handy shining on the attacking front. Essex were able to chip away but the outside shots werent dropping after some good offensive play.
Ashleigh Munns went on a scoring frenzy to start the final quarter, contributing all of Essex’s nine first points in the period.
Despite the Munns heat check, the Gladiators were able to keep the Rebels at bay as Adams timed several great passes leading to easy buckets.
With the Gladiators converting 12 three-pointers to Essex’s one, the Scottish side were able to come away with the victory with a final score of 93-55.
Essex were led by Sune Swart with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Coach Ross Norfolk said post game, “We struggled from the perimeter today. This is a big assest for us. We played solid defence for the majority of each possession but Caledonia were able to hit shots late in the shot clock. We now refocus and get prepared for Leicester this weekend!”
For the Rebels, they sit comfortably in playoff contention, and will take on Leicester Riders in the Quarter finals of the post season playoff competition.