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Sevenoaks Suns secured their seventh victory in a row as they saw off the Essex Rebels with a closely-fought 60-50 win at home.

Janice Monakana recorded an imposing double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, whilst Araion Bradshaw also contributed a double-double of her own with an impressive 15 points and 16 rebounds.

It was a close first quarter throughout, as both defenses were on top for much of it. There was a lot of pressure inside meaning that it was a struggle to get to the rim, which forced more attempts from beyond the arc. However, the teams shot a combined 2/11 from three, as a low-scoring period came to a close at 14-10 in favour of the home side.

After what was an even affair so far, the Suns began to assert their dominance, especially on the boards, grabbing eight offensive rebounds that led to six points. Whilst they didn’t take advantage of the second chance opportunities as much as they would’ve liked, the extra energy and effort on display helped increase their lead.

The gap grew to double digits for the first time as Renee Busch benefitted from a long Monakana offensive board to hit a jumper from the free-throw line.

This allowed the Suns to take a relatively comfortable 14-point advantage into the half-time break. But as they know too well, no lead is safe and maximum concentration was needed to see out the game.

A triple from Bradshaw before a couple of free-throws from Washington gave their team a 19-point lead, but the visitors refused to lie down, then going on a 9-0 run to cut it back down to ten. A wide open three from Rebels’ guard Jade Mbam made the score 40-30.

Another offensive rebound, and perhaps one of the most crucial of the game, led to a three-pointer for Bradshaw which she drained with just 30 seconds of the quarter left to increase the lead to 13. This gave the Suns a much healthier cushion going into the final ten minutes.

With the win still not secured, the visitors kept pushing and managed to cut the deficit back down to single digits, but they couldn’t get close the nine-point gap any further despite their best efforts. Monakana and Bradshaw combined to seal the deal as they capped off their excellent performances to see the team to victory.

Now sitting at 9-3 and in a brilliant run of form, the Suns will hope to continue this momentum as they host the Manchester Met Mystics next week in search of their tenth win.

Author: Angelia Ronayne

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