Leicester Riders grabbed a 80-59 victory on the road after a massive comeback.
The first period was keenly contested with very good shooting from Sevenoaks Suns which gave them a slight lead at the beginning. Although Riders received great support from the Charnwood student Rebecca Taylor, the second period involved many difficulties for them – problems in defence and turnovers in offence caused a lot of trouble and Sevenoaks Suns employed a running game which finished with a solid advantaged at the half time.
Trailing 41-24 at the interval Leicester Riders launched a valiant fightback. The guests took the matter in their own hands, scoring 30 points in the third period (54-51). The Estonian twins Maaja and Maia Bratka were unstoppable in offence and very aggressive in defence and did a 6-0 run which forced Sevenoaks’ coach to take a timeout. The break only helped the guests who showed an incredible team spirit and started a carnival of three-pointers.
Superb defending by captain Rheanne Bailey, and perfect distance shooting by Kastine Evans, Georgia Jones and Maaja Bratka were the key to Riders’ comeback. In the last ten minutes Leicester Riders controlled the game and took a comfortable 80-59 win.
Head coach Matthew Harber was pleased with the win and commented after the game:
“Away at Sevenoaks is never a nice trip, let alone mid-week. There’s no denying that in the first half, we were terrible and coincidently, Sevenoaks played very well and hit a lot of outside shots.
I was extremely disappointed with how we started the game and we have to go away and look at why we didn’t manage to start how we planned. However, credit to the girls for their reaction and the second 20 minutes was very impressive and we shared the load on offence and played how we had planned.
No matter what happens though, in every game I’m seeing a lot of growth from our players. Tonight I thought Becky Taylor really stepped up when we needed her too and I hope she will continue to build on this.”
Maaja Bratka led the scoring again with 22 points, whilst Kastine Evans finished with 17 points and Rheanne Bailey added 10.