Sevenoaks Suns closed the regular season with a 67-53 win at Newcastle Eagles as they bounced back from last week’s defeat against Caledonia Gladiators.
Their place in the playoffs was confirmed as Janice Monakana led them to victory with 24 points and eight rebounds, as well as converting all seven of her free-throw attempts.
The Suns quickly set the tone for the game, jumping out to an early 10-2 lead, Monakana with seven of the team’s points. Julia Koppl, who also had a strong outing, scored their next four points with a pair of layups to maintain the advantage.
However, the Eagles weren’t put down by the opening few minutes, as they got some stops and managed to forge a run of their own to put them firmly in the contest. The lead was cut down to two by the end of the first quarter after a 7-0 run.
It was a more even affair in the second, with both sides trading buckets as neither could gain any separation. Monakana continued her dominance with the Suns’ first nine points of the period but the home side responded through a pair of threes from Abigail Lowe and Marina Fernandez Pardo.
Newcastle took their first lead of the game at the six minute mark of the quarter as they made it 26-25, then Renee Busch drained two triples of her own to put her team back in the ascendency. A layup at the buzzer from Fernandez Pardo made it a two-point game at half.
Ten straight points for the Suns to open the second half threatened to blow the game open as their opponents struggled from beyond the arc. This resulted in their largest lead of the afternoon at 14.
Despite the Eagles’ best attempts to get back into the game, the visitors managed to ward off any comeback and even extended their advantage to as high as 20. A late three cut it back down to 14 but the Suns returned home with a comfortable victory.
The playoffs get underway next Saturday, when the Suns travel to face the Sheffield Hatters in the quarter-finals at 5pm!
Author: Angelia Ronayne