Rebels on the Rampage
The Essex Rebels Women’s basketball team continued their winning ways this past weekend as they took the long journey north to face the Caledonia Pride. This was the first meeting between the two teams on the season, as the Rebels looked to continue to take claim of the third spot in the league, while Caledonia looked to climb the ladder out of the bottom half.
The Rebels came out quick to start the game, but the Pride never really let the Rebels get comfortable, causing a back-and-forth game to occur with neither team really finding comfortable rhythm. Unfortunately for the Rebels, foul trouble plagued them early, sending Angel to the bench after picking up two quick fouls and then causing Lucrezia to play safe having picked up three fouls in the first half. Additionally, the Rebels struggled from the charity stripe, missing 8 foul shots. This allowed the Pride to remain in the game and enter half-time down by only 6 points.
The third quarter saw a great defensive stand occur for the Rebels, as they held the home team to just 10 points and they extended their lead to 11 as they began the final ten minutes of play. Once again, foul trouble came into play however, as Lucrezia picked up her fourth and fifth fouls quickly and was forced to the bench for the remainder of the game. The Pride knew their backs were against the wall and turned up their defensive pressure in a full court press that resulted in 4 straight turnovers for the Rebels and their lead cut down to just 3 points. It was an uncomfortable battle from then on, as the Rebels struggled to convert foul shots and the Pride were able to get second and third chance opportunities to score. Fortunately for the Rebels, time ran out on the Pride and they were able to escape with a victory, winning 74-66.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say after the game, “credit to Caledonia for their relentless effort for 40 minutes. We told the team that they were never going to let us get comfortable and that we had to be focused and strong the entire game. Unfortunately, we had some massive lapses in our press break and from the foul line that really hurt us and never really let us get a solid lead. You are always lucky to get a win in an environment like this where you’ve had to travel a long way, against a team that doesn’t quit, and missing 12 foul shots, getting out rebounded, and getting into foul trouble all don’t help. But again, our team has been able to tough it out when they are in these positions, so I am proud that they didn’t give up when things were against us. But I would much rather prefer we didn’t have to get into those tight spots to begin with. And that comes from focus from the time we arrive at the game to that final buzzer sounds.”
Top Performers Rebels:
Andrea Kohlhaas – 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks
Ashleigh Munns – 18 points, 5 assists, 2 steals
Angel Waithe – 9 points, 8 rebounds
Lu Costa – 10 points, 3 rebounds
Top Performers Pride:
M. Ranger – 23 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
P. Storie – 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals
S. Phillips – 12 points, 16 rebounds
The Rebels return to the road as they travel to Cardiff on Wednesday and are back at home on Sunday to face long-time WBBL favourites Sevenoaks Suns.