Rebels Men Start 2023 With a Road Win
Essex Rebels division 1 men’s team started their second half of the season with an away trip to the inform Manchester Magic. Prior to the Christmas break Manchester were in form winning 4 out of their last 6, whilst needed to bounce back after a 3 game losing streak.
To start the game. Essex didn’t seem fazed by the 5 hour coach trip. The starters came out with the hot hand, playing in transition when they could and finding the open man offensively. Essex were up 12 at the end of the first.
Manchester regrouped in the second, switching up some defensive tactics to make Essex player slower. The Magic started to find their rhythm and began to string together some runs. The Rebels needed to rebound the ball better on both ends of the floor to stop Manchester from getting extra possessions. Despite the pace of the 2nd, Essex went into half time up 8 points, 41 – 33.
Half time gave the Rebels the opportunity to regroup and check some key stats from the first half. To begin the 3rd Manchester came out firing, going on a quick 6-0 run. A timeout from Coach Norfolk allowed Essex to assess the slow start and re focus the group. After this Essex picked up their offensive play and started to create more scoring opportunities. An emphasis on playing fast and sharing the basketball like in the 1st quarter was evident.
The Rebels stayed in control of the game going into the final stanza. Manchester did claw back late on but Essex were able to keep them at arms reach when American guard, Owen Chose got hot and made 3 3 pointers on the bounce.
The contest finished with Essex winning by 10, 72 – 62 and snapping a 3 game losing streak.
Coach Ross Norfolk was pleased with the teams resilience, “Manchester is a tough road trip. A long journey where the guys have to stayed focused. We started the game really well which was key for building momentum. The team showed good character going into the 3rd and were able to regroup fast after a slow start. Great way to start the 2nd part of the season.”
The Rebels were led by American guard Owen Chose with 22 points and 7 rebounds, shooting 5/9 from 3, whilst Big man Dylan Johns posted 12 points and 7 rebounds with one of the highlight plays of the season.
Essex continue on the road next week away to Westminster Warriors. The next home game for the men is against Derby Trailblazers on the 28th January, tip off at 6:30pm. Tickets can be found via Eventbrite, https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/essex-rebels-17797420935