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Lady Truckers pull off another close one

A last minute charge by the Electro Telecom Cybots Queens left the Johnson Lady Truckers basketball team scrambling in the fourth and barely holding onto a three-point lead, in the opening game in the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association(NPWBA).

The Lady Truckers blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, after holding the Queens to just eight points in the third. The 27 points scored by the Queens in the final quarter was still not enough to defeat the Lady Truckers, who went on to win the game, 70-64.

The team had an explosive three quarters scoring a high of 22 points in the second. Three points were the closes the Queens came to the Lady Truckers. The Lady Truckers’head coach James Price said having a team come within the three points, for the first three quarters is not something the squad is use to. Reflecting on last season and other games, Price said the team is use to establishing big leads early since they play on’cruise control’in the last quarter.

Price said: ”If you noticed, the first three quarters we played good, but come in the fourth quarter is where we are lacking. It goes to show that the 25 points, which Shantell used to put up, is a big difference and factor. Heading into the fourth and having that 25 points gives us a comfortable lead so when we get in that cruise mood, that lead will still be there. But now we don’t have that and it is kind of difficult for the team. While the other members pressing the ball, she would have been attacking the rim. But we should have her back about a week or so.

“You can’t be worried or start to panic when a team starts to close in. You have to have confidence. Good teams know how to win close games. Now when you don’t know how to win a close game, that is a problem.”

The Truckers will play the Caribs on Saturday, at the DW Davis gymnasium. On Saturday, November 20, the Caribs picked up their first win, over the Queens. Despite the two consecutive losses, the Queen’s head coach Wayde Watson still considers his team as one of the top in the league.

He applauded the team for a hard fought game Saturday night and is expecting better things from the team as the season continues.”We had a good game tonight,” said Watson.”I think what happen was we came out a little lackluster. With about five minutes remaining in the game we were down by some 20 points and then they started to pick up the intensity. Throughout the game they out rebounded us, and we missed a lot of free throws. We had to miss about 20 to 25 free throws tonight. Other than that, I think they played exceptionally well.

“I see the level of improvement, level of confidence shining through now. Even though they are young, they are beginning to pick up their game and their confidence is coming right along.”

Top scorer for the Truckers was Latoya Rolle with 21 points and Glenda Gilcud added 13 points. Both Janice Williams and Antoniette Knowles chipped in with 10 points. The Queens got a 25-point performance from Christine Sinclair, Robin Gibson and Deandrea Cunningham had 15 and 11 points, respectively.

A total of 37 rebounds were pulled down by the Truckers’team. Willliams led the charge with nine, Knowles and Rolle had seven apiece. The team was 1-for-3 from behind the arch. Even though the Queens were unable to connect from the three-point arch, they were just one rebound short of the Truckers, closing with 36, 16 offensive and 20 defensive boards. The team had even outscored the Lady Truckers from the free throw line. Despite this, Watson believes that the team could have done a little better on both aspects. As a team, the Queens were 18-for-42 from the free throw line.

“We have to work on our free throws. We have practice tomorrow(Sunday)so we will focus on our boxing out from a rebound prospective,” said Watson.”I still think that they are not running the system that they are taking whatever shot that they can get. If we can run our system whether we are under pressure or not, I think that we can be very, very good and we can pick up the beat.

“We have a lot of youth and talent on our team. A lot of the senior teams like the Cheetahs, Angels and Truckers, they have a lot of veteran players. So if we can use our youth and the experience that they are gaining, let that keep us in the game for about three quarters and remain close in the fourth, I think that we can win it all.”

As for Price, there is no doubt that the Lady Truckers are one of the leading teams in the league. He eagerly awaits the return of point guard Shantell Rolle, until then. He said: ”you can’t take no team and say that it is an easy game, until you have played the game.”

“If you come there saying that it is an easy game you will be in plenty trouble.”

Although the Lady Truckers will have a little break in schedule other teams will hit the hardwood on Tuesday night. In the first of two games, the All-Stars will take on the Four J’s Cheetahs at 7:30 p.m. This will be followed by the COB Caribs and the Boomer G Angels.

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