Rebels Fight Back Not Enough to Tame Gladiators
The Essex Rebels Women’s basketball team had their home opener of the 2022-2023 season this weekend against the Caledonia Gladiators. The Rebels entered the game coming off a previous loss to start the season and were still without two key players for this match-up. The Gladiators started their season campaign with a win against Newcastle last weekend.
New import Sune Swart got things started for the Rebels, getting the Rebels on the board first, followed by two free throws from Tia Freeman and a lay-up from Dre Kohlhaas. Two more threes from the home team helped widen the gap, but the Gladiators started to get things rolling and took the score to 12-10 with 4 minutes remaining in the quarter. Both teams used full court pressure, but it was the 15 foul calls that slowed the game down as the teams entered the second quarter with the Rebels leading 21-20. Full court pressure continued from the Gladiators forcing the Rebels into four straight turnovers and gaining a 12 point lead. Despite some tough finishes around the basket for the Rebels, they just couldn’t get momentum on their side and fell to a 17 point deficit heading into the half.
The Rebels started the half with some pressure of their own, causing the Gladiators to turn the ball over, resulting in Sune scoring 6 straight points for the Rebels. However, the Gladiators settled down and reclaimed a commanding 21 point lead with 10 minutes remaining. The fourth quarter saw the Rebels come out with a run of their own, cutting the Gladiators lead to 10 with three minutes remaining, but 3 costly turnovers allowed the Gladiators to stay narrowly ahead and win with a final score of 82-74.
Following the game head coach Tom Sadler had this to say about his team’s performance, “I thought we played well in the first and fourth quarters when we moved the ball, executed, and played aggressively, but the full court pressure from Caledonia really hurt us and we couldn’t get the ball up the court and get into some sort of rhythm. We also have to be more consistent on capitalising on the opportunities we do get. We shot 18% from 3 and missed 10 free throws. Two areas I know we are usually really good at. But I thought the fact that we got down and fought back really showed the potential of this team. Pair that with getting a full squad in the next few weeks and I am still really excited and confident in what this team will be capable of.”
The Rebels return home next weekend as they take on the Cardiff Met Archers on Saturday 8th October at 4pm. Tickets available across all social media platforms and at the door.
Top Performers Rebels:
*Sune Swart – 30 points, 16 rebounds, 4 steals
*Tia Freeman – 19 points, 5 rebounds
Top Performers Gladiators:
*C. Handy – 18 points, 7 rebounds
*E. Jones – 15 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists
*A. Wolfe – 16 points
*E. Mcgarrahan – 10 points, 3 steals