Rebels season concludes in Sky Sport play offs
The Essex Rebels Women’s basketball team’s season has come to an end this past weekend. The Rebels, who clinched their first ever play-off spot as the 6th seed faced the current Cup champions London Lions. Previous meetings between the two teams had all favoured the Lions, who on paper boast 4 current or former GB players and five paid professionals. Unfortunately for the Rebels, those players stepped up for the Lions and helped them secure a semi-final spot in the May Madness play-offs, with a final score of 92-65.
The first quarter seemed to indicate that both teams were in for a hard-fought battle, with the Lions only up 1 headed into the second quarter. However, foul trouble plagued the Rebels and saw starters Lu Costa and Angel Waithe have to sit for a stretch of time that allowed the Lions to gain some offensive momentum and all but stalled the Rebels offence. Despite a shift in the second, both teams headed into the half-time break feeling confident, with a score of 46-33.
The second half started the same as the first quarter as both teams battled back and forth with the Lions once again only outscoring the Rebels by one point. Unfortunately, with all energy spent, the Rebels just couldn’t maintain the fast-paced style of play of the Lions and were outplayed to the final score of 92-65.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say after the season ending game, “First I want to make it clear that I am incredibly proud of this group. They have faced several challenges throughout the season and to accomplish what they have is a testament to their hard work and dedication. When you think about how we have competed this year, with a lot less than some other teams in the league, throughout a pandemic, it really is amazing and as I said to the team after the game, they should keep their heads held high. I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of a lot of these players, and I will be working throughout the spring and summer months to try and put the team in a position next year to continue to build on the success we’ve achieved this season. I have enjoyed every minute of coaching this team and can’t wait to see them back on the court for post-season workouts after taking a few weeks off to recover. I also want to say thank you to all those involved in supporting the team, we don’t accomplish what we did this year without the whole coaching staff, our physio who kept the players going, and all the volunteers who have spent the past several months giving up their time to commentate on games, run our social media accounts, and promote not only our team but women’s basketball as a whole. I can’t wait to see how much more this programme can grow and improve with continued support from sponsors and the University of Essex.
Top Performers for the Rebels:
Carla Bieg Salazar – 22 points, 4 rebounds
Angel Waithe – 13 points, 11 rebounds
Ashleigh Munns – 12 points, 3 assists
Top Performers for the Lions:
K. Leonard – 22 points, 8 rebounds, 16 assists, 8 steals
S. Umeh – 22 points, 13 rebounds
C. Charles – 18 points, 9 rebounds
C. Breen – 14 points
While this was the last game of the season for the Essex Rebels, make sure to follow the remainder of May Madness for some great women’s basketball. Throughout the next few months there will be continued news, exciting announcements, and opportunities to get involved with the Rebels, so please follow us on all our social media platforms to stay up to date with all things Rebels related! Thank you for supporting the team and we can’t wait to welcome you back to our home games next season!