Battle on!

PINELANDS, COUGARS TAKE IMPORTANT PLAYOFF SERIES LEAD

Preferred Insurance Brokers Pinelands scored a game one 79-72 victory to secure a 1-0 lead against Lady Tridents in the #1 Beauty Supplies and Exchange-sponsored Barbados Amateur Basketball Association Women’s League last night.

During the semifinal playoff played at the Barbados Community College, Pinelands, reigning queens of women’s league basketball, were able to command the first three stanzas at 26-16, 44-34 and 64-48 for the victory in a game that lasted one hour and 29 minutes.  

Zahra Ashby of Lady Tridents goes for a two-point shot against Preferred Insurance Pinelands.

Having graced the scene of local basketball for the very first time in 2016, Pinelands, coached by Ron Grant, got off to a flying start with a ten-point advantage in the opening quarter and never looked back.

Leading Pinelands offensive charge was point guard Maria Cumberbatch with a game-high 25 points having occupied the court for 36 minutes and 55 seconds as she scored 12 of 23 field goal attempts. She also had two assists and four steals.

It wasn’t just the force of Cumberbatch to deal with but Tridents also had to contend with power forward Latifah Wood who accounted for 21 of Pinelands’ points and was a major factor on defence with 17 rebounds, 11 offensive and six defensive, along with two steals.

In addition to Wood, Tamisha Flatts had ten rebounds and Anicia Wood seven.

The fact that Cumberbatch and Wood were able to step up when Pinelands’ point guards Flatts (occupying the court for 36 minutes) and captain Sade Clarke (29 minutes) were both having a subpar game, scoring just nine and five points respectively, speaks to the talent and depth of the defending champions.

Kashera Corbin accounted for nine points, Toni-Ann Johnson had six and Anicia Wood four in the overall Pineland’s effort.

Springer Memorial athlete Rashanna Thorne top-scored for Tridents with 23 points, Stephian Shepherd had 17 and Zahra Ashby 15 and all three ladies made a valuable contribution on defence with Thorne and Ashby accounting for nine rebounds each respectively along with ten from Shepherd.

Despite her efforts, Thorne had to play cautiously with four fouls to her name, and she did well not to commit a fifth and final personal foul, with the knowledge that her team depended heavily on her.

Thorne, Shepherd and Ashby were the only ones to reach double figures for Lady Tridents, as the next best figures were eight by Shachia Small and two from Danielle Niles.

The second semifinal was there for the taking between Lady Cougars and former queens Fusionz Boutique Lady Cavaliers, before Cougars swung the match decisively in their favour for the 74-49 (19-14, 38-24, 56-40) result.

Cougars captain Toni Atherley was the dominant force on court as she produced a game-high 26 points and received great support from Tiffany Thorpe who had a total of 20 points and Jennifer Joseph- Hackett chipped in with 16.

Atherley, a former national point guard, netted 11 of 16 from the field and had a total of 14 rebounds, 12 defensive and two on the offensive end. She also had seven assists, and two steals.

Meanwhile, Thorpe accounted for 11 rebounds with eight on defence, along with three assists and four steals.

With the game relatively close at half-time, many expected Cavaliers with the experience of former national players and power forwards Astrid Alleyne and Shakira Shorey to apply pressure on Cougars offence but instead they lost their way by the end of the third quarter and Cougars took advantage of their sloppy play and never had reason to look back.

Coached by Dexter Griffith, Cougars capitalized on the fact that Shorey apparently picked up an injury and Cavaliers were unable to feed Alleyne and fellow forward Talya Layne the ball which might have had some effect on the team’s productivity and actual score. But in the end, Cougars simply bossed the game, winning quite easily to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Scoring for Cavaliers were Layne and Ria Phillips with 12 points each respectively, and they were the only two to reach double figures with the next best scores being eight from Jada Saunders, seven from Shorey and five each from Alleyne and Winmalicia Bowen.

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