Rebels Survive and Advance in Huge Comeback/strong>
The Essex Rebels women’s WBBL team returned to action on Saturday evening as they played host to league rivals and Scottish side Caledonia Pride in the Essex Sport Arena, in a must win game in order to keep either sides trophy hopes alive.
The Essex Rebels came in to the game after nearly a month off due to covid protocols which forced the Essex side in to an extended break over the holiday period.
The game begun with the Rebels forward Claire Paxton winning the jump ball. Paxton stepped in to the starting line up replacing DeAngelique Waithe who is currently resting a soar knee, however despite winning the jump it was the Scottish side who came out firing and after winning the first two quarters, went into half-time up 52-38 – The Essex side looked rusty, and looked like a team who is returning from a long break. Caledonia were able to capitalise on this limiting the Rebels offence that has put more than 100 points in a game several times this season.
The third quarter ended 69-52 in favour of Pride as Rebels continued to struggle to find their scoring rhythm, with Lu Costa a main scoring threat being forced to sit due to foul trouble – with a final quarter left to play the Rebels would have to dig deep to find away to give them selves a chance to win.
And they did just that, as the Rebels rallied from 17 down to go on and win the fourth quarter 24-7 forcing the game into overtime tied 76-76.
Rebels, who were without DeAngelique Waithe, and power forward Ellie Shaxon, and with Lu Costa being in foul trouble entered over time undermanned and exhausted would go on to put 11 more points in overtime, with a big three pointer from captain Andrea Kohlhaas who would also knock down a key Free throw just before the final buzzer sounded.
Head coach Tom Sadler had this to say post match“ We needed this game, big time. I think first off it’s important for everyone to know how good Caledonia Pride are, they’re very well coached, and they do not stop playing. We knew they could really rebound the ball offensively, and knew we had to work really hard to try to limit the extra possessions they can create, but they just kept going, and that’s what got us in to the hole early on. I thought we did a great job to really focus on the simple things late in the game that ultimately got us back in to the game, eventually winning it. I really hope we have learned something here today, and can build on this”
The Essex Rebels now advance to the next round of the WBBL trophy competition for the first time in the clubs history.
Essex rebels Top performers:
Claire Paxton 25 Pts 11 Rebounds
Tia Freeman 20 Pts 6 Rebounds
Carla Bieg Salazar 14 Pts 6 Rebounds 5 Steals
Megan Haines 12 Points
Laken James 23 Points
Erin McGarrachan 14 Points 11 Rebounds
Taylor Edwards 12 points 7 Rebounds