This week, we were in Portobello to watch City of Edinburgh Kats host the Lady Rocks in both teams’ second matchup of the season. Kats made it 1-1 for the season as they defeated Rocks. 66-52.

In both teams last matchup in Cumbernauld, Lady Rocks defeated the visiting side 78-73, snapping Kats’ winning streak in the process. Looking for redemption from their last encounter, Kats would come to play this past weekend.

After the game tipped off, both teams struggled to find their feet on offense and the game went scoreless for the first few minutes. After coming off a screen, Erin Gilbride would strike first for the Rocks as she knocked down a three-pointer off the dribble to give Rocks an early 3-0 lead. Kara Gillies was first to get on the scoreboard for Kats as she finished a layup inside. Cathy Mitchell then got herself on the scoresheet, as she hit a turnaround jumper from the post.

Kats pressed Rocks from the outset and this forced a number of early turnovers for Rocks. As Kats converted on the other end they quickly tied the score at 7-7. After Mairi MacNeil hit a long two to give Rocks the lead once again. However, this would not be the case for long as Kats’ Emma Findlay converted on the other end with a layup, drawing the foul and sending her to the line where she knocked down a free throw to give her team the lead for the first time in the game.

“Particularly in the first half we couldn’t look after the ball, we threw it away,” said Lady Rocks coach, Colin Haldane, “The turnovers must have been over 20. You just can’t give teams of Kats’ quality 20 opportunities. They had to earn what they got but we were just giving it to them, that was the most disappointing thing.”

Despite some strong defence by Kats, Rocks would then take the lead once again in the first quarter as Gilbride found Mitchell on the wing for the three-pointer giving the away side a 13-12 lead. However, Kats regained the lead just before the end of the quarter as some excellent ball movement ultimately found Emma Findlay for the triple and Casey Morrison finished on a layup just before the buzzer sounded, giving the home side an 18-16 lead at the end of the quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Tracey Philips would extend Kats’ lead with a nice up and under move to push the lead to 20-16. Rocks would respond with 6 straight points as Carla Crowther knocked down a three, Cathy Mitchell hit one free throw from the line and Crowther was found on the end of a fast break to give Rocks a 22-20 lead. Kats’ soon regained the lead and would hold it for the rest of the game. Tracey Phillips would go on to score 6 straight points in the quarter and this allowed the home side to push the score out to 31-26 at halftime.

Coming out of the locker room, the away side could not grab a hold of the game and continued to be plagued by turnovers which Kats capitalised on, allowing them to stretch their lead to 53-31 by the end of the third quarter. Despite making a late push and narrowing the deficit in the fourth quarter, it was a case of too little too late for the Lady Rocks and Kats came away victorious with the 66-52 win at home.

“In the second half we just upped the intensity on defence,” said City of Edinburgh Kats coach, Ben Gunn, “we were very lethargic on both ends of the court in the first half, and we talked about that at halftime and adjusted one or two things and what’s lead to the changes.”

Tracey Philips would finish the game as the top scorer for the Kats, tallying 18 points for the contest. Cathy Mitchell added 12 points for the Lady Rocks.

Both teams now have a month’s break from SBC action with Lady Rocks returning to play Edinburgh University on the 12th of January in what will be a preview of the Woman’s Cup Final later that month. City of Edinburgh’s next game will be against Polonia Phoenix on the 13th of January.