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Sevenoaks Suns fell to a 79-64 defeat in the first round of the WBBL Trophy at the Essex Rebels.

Janice Monakana led the side with 14 points, however it wasn’t enough to help last year’s finalists advance.

It was a hotly contested first quarter, with both teams on fire from three-point range, going a combined 8-11. However, the Rebels were perfect from beyond the arc with their four triples, helping them to an early 8-point lead. The Suns only managed 3-12 from two.

The second quarter didn’t see much improvement in the Suns’ overall shooting percentages, as they shot just 24% from the field. However, they were still able to put up some points by getting to the line, including a three-point foul on Judit Fritz in which she converted all three free throws. Rebels fared significantly better, scoring on 10 of their 18 attempts. As a result, the home side stretched their lead to 13 heading into half-time.

A similar pattern emerged for the third, with the Suns struggling to gain any sort of offensive rhythm, with credit to the Rebels defense for forcing six turnovers in the quarter. Trying to cut into the growing deficit, they turned to the three-point shot, but failed to see much success, scoring two of seven.

With ten minutes remaining, and a 17-point Rebels lead to overcome, the Suns’ defense ramped it up in a valiant effort to save the game. Holding their opponents to just ten points in the final quarter, they gave themselves an opportunity to get back into the contest. Unfortunately, the hosts’ defense held up just as well, only conceding 12 points themselves.

Following the defeat, full attention now shifts back to the WBBL Championship, in which a trip to Nottingham awaits to face the Wildcats on Saturday. The Suns will look to continue their ongoing three-game winning streak in the league.

Author: Angelia Ronayne

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