Tough loss to Sevenoaks Suns
The Essex Rebels returned to the court after 3 weeks of no gameplay to face the Sevenoaks Suns on the road. The teams had previously played each other in the first round of the Trophy with Essex putting in a dominating performance and advancing in the tournament with a win. The Rebels were unfortunately without starting guard Tia Freeman for the game, and after a rough shooting night left with a loss; a final score of 60-50.
A slow start for both teams saw the score line tied at 5 points apiece at the 5-minute mark. The Suns were the first team to make a bit of a run with Janice Monakana scoring 5 straight points and contributing defensively to set her team up for a few other buckets. A drive by Rebels guard Megan Haines helped stop the Sun’s run, as the teams finished the quarter with the Suns up 14-10. Some questionable foul calls and strong rebounding allowed the Suns some opportunities to extend their lead, while the Rebels struggled to take care of the ball committing unforced turnovers. Claire Paxton contributed her signature turnaround fadeaway to bring the Rebels to within 5 points, but it was all Suns the rest of the half as they extended their lead to 14 points at the break.
Sevenoaks picked up where they left off, hitting a 3-pointer on their first possession of the second half, while it took the Rebels almost 3 minutes to get on the board behind an and-1 finish by Sune Swart. After another scoring drought it was Sune Swart who once again put points on the board for the Rebels, draining a 3-pointer followed by hitting two free throws and cutting the Suns lead to 14 points. A few possessions later Jade Mbam knocked down her first 3 of the game, bringing the Rebels to within 10. The Suns countered with a 3 of their own, sending the game into the final quarter with the home team up 13. Dre Kohlhaas started the quarter with a 3 of her own, followed by a Sune Swart lay-up. A second 3-pointer from Dre Kohlhaas broke the 10-point barrier, but the Suns quickly responded with a 3 of their own and a transition lay-up to go back up 14. As time started to run out, desperation defence and quick shots led to no real breaks in the game, as the Suns took the 10-point win.
Head Coach Tom Sadler had this to say about his team’s performance, “The long break between games hurt us. We looked sloppy, couldn’t make shots, and definitely missed Tia’s presence on both ends of the floor. Really hard to win games shooting 25% from 3, 57% from the foul line, and committing 18 turnovers. We probably needed a bit of a wake-up call heading into our next round of the Trophy where we will face a Newcastle team that has been consistently improving throughout the season.”
Top Performers –
*Sune Swart – 20 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 blocks
*Dre Kohlhaas – 9 points, 4 rebounds
*J. Monakana – 16 points, 14 rebounds
*A. Bradshaw – 15 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
*R. Busch – 10 points, 4 assists