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Sevenoaks Suns fell to their second defeat of the season, following a 71-61 loss at the Caledonia Gladiators.

Renee Busch led the team with 24 points, however it wasn’t enough to overcome the test of a strong Gladiators team.

The result meant the home team continued their unbeaten start to the season following previous victories over the Eagles and Rebels.

Despite the final score, it was a thrilling affair, with both sides providing great entertainment for the fans.

It was an even start to the game, as the Gladiators shot an efficient 58%, whilst the Suns enjoyed frequent trips to the free throw line to remain in touching distance come the close of the first quarter. Five different Suns contributed points in the opening ten minutes, showcasing their depth in quality.

Caledonia guard Radka Stasova and Suns’ Busch exchanged three pointers to start the second period. There was no score for either team for three minutes as they struggled to find any rhythm. Turnovers took over this stretch of play with a total of six between the two. The Suns’ shooting woes were epitomised by a 20-second play in which they went 0/3 from beyond the arc and 0/4 from the field following three offensive rebounds.

However, a layup from Julia Koppl gave her team the lead before a 7-2 run put the Gladiators back on top. A pair of free throws from Judit Fritz cut the deficit to two heading into the second half.

An unanswered eight points to open the quarter gave the visitors their largest lead of the game. Both teams exchanged buckets, but a haul of 11 points for Busch gave the Suns a seven point advantage for the final ten minutes.

The Gladiators came out hot and erased the deficit within three minutes. It was anyone’s game with seven minutes to go. The game continued to thrill, remaining close as the clock went down.

With 90 seconds left, Stasova came up with a clutch steal and pull up to put the Gladiators up by one. Another sloppy turnover on the next possession allowed Stasova to give her team breathing space with a four point lead. From then on, the Suns could not recover and having to foul, they allowed Caledonia to take a 10-point victory.

This loss leaves the Suns 2-2 on the season. They will look to get back to winning ways in two weeks’ time as they host the Sheffield Hatters.

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Author: Angelia Ronayne

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