Rebels Take Down Top of the Table Leicester Riders
The Essex Rebels Women’s professional basketball team enjoyed a great start to their weekend as they took down the top of the table, undefeated, and Cup champions Leicester Riders on Friday night. The Riders who had been enjoying an undefeated streak since February of last year, came in as the favourites, but finished the game with their first ever loss to the Essex Rebels.
Early on in the game it seemed as though Leicester would continue their winning ways, holding the Rebels to just 9 points in 10 minutes. It seemed that nerves may have been in play, as the Rebels struggled to get into their offence and missed a few scoring opportunities. However, the second quarter saw the Rebels heat up a bit and close the gap to just seven points as they headed into the locker room at the half.
A big shift in momentum occurred in the third quarter as the Rebels came out on fire and seemingly couldn’t stop scoring as they dropped 32 points, 3 of which came on a Carla Bieg buzzer beater, and overtook the Riders heading into the final ten minutes of play. In a nail biting fourth quarter, the teams exchanged baskets, each enjoying mini scoring runs of their own, but it was the Rebels who stepped up to hit some big shots to seal the game and get their fifth victory of the season.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say after the game, “the team played their hearts out today and they were rewarded with a big time win. They played with energy, executed the game plan, and stuck together each time Leicester made a run. It was a great game to watch and one that highlighted the team’s hard work paying off. We had some big time performances again from everyone, each contributing and stepping up when it was their turn. This team is fun to watch when they are playing well and tonight was about as well as they could have played against a really talented Riders team. We have a quick turnaround as we play again on Sunday against Oaklands, so while we will enjoy this win, we will turn our focus to the next game to keep our momentum going.”
Top Performers Essex Rebels:
DeAngelique Waithe – 27 points, 15 rebounds, 3 steals
Lu Costa – 13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists
Carla Bieg – 12 points, 7 rebounds
Top Performers Leicester Riders:
Holly Winterburn – 16 points, 7 rebounds
Ella Clark – 13 points, 11 rebounds
Hannah Robb – 13 points