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Queens, COB in intense battle for playoffs

The Electro Telecom Cyber Queens still haven’t locked up a playoff spot yet, even though they pulled off a big win over the Bommer G. Angels, on Saturday night, at the D.W. Davis Gym. A 16-point victory gave the Cyber Queens a slight edge over the College of The Bahamas(COB)Caribs, but the battle for the fourth spot in the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association(NPWBA)playoffs, between the two teams, continues.

Both squads took to the court this past weekend, looking for a win that would have boosted their team’s morale as they head into the final week of games in the regular season. The Cyber Queens were able to trounce the Angels, 66-50, while the Caribs fell to the league’s leaders, Four J’s Cheetahs, 71-63. The Angels are the number two seed in the playoff race, and the Johnson’s Lady Truckers are seeded third. Saturday’s win for the Cyber Queens puts them one game ahead of the Caribs for the fourth and final playoff spot. The playoffs are set to begin March 14 at the D.W. Davis Gymnasium, but before the best-of-three playoff series tips off, the Cyber Queens and the Caribs will play each other one more time. This game is set for Tuesday at the D.W. Davis gym.

Head Coach for the Cyber Queens, Simone Beneby, is expecting her team to come with the same level of energy that they came with in the win over the Angels. The Cyber Queens held the Angels to just seven points in the second quarter and 13 in the third. The Angels turned to veteran Sharelle Cash for answers in the fourth, but the Cyber Queens’defense clamped down on her, after she opened up the fourth with a three pointer and two lay-ups. Cash scored nine of the Angels’16 points that quarter but it wasn’t enough.

“It was an important win for us,”said Beneby.”Really and truly, it wasn’t one that we had counted on. We really counted on the Truckers to beat COB, but this tonight, was a huge win. As a matter of a fact, I think it gave us an edge over COB, but it is still any man’s game. COB is a very good team.

“I think the win is a good confidence booster for my girls. We have been in a bit of a slump lately. With us winning, this tells us that the hard work that we have been putting in, that it is paying off. I think it will play a role for us, but it is important that we just come out and play our game. Right now we have been struggling a lot. We are just focussed on playing Cybots basketball.”

Three of the Cyber Queens’players finished in double figures. Leading the way for the team was Christine Sinclair with 17 points. Natasha Whymms and Deandra Cunningham scored 15 and 12 points respectively.

The top scorer for the Angels was Cash with 17 points. She added three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Kaylicia Laing scored 14 points, had four rebounds and one steal. As a team, the Angels shot 2-for-22 from behind the three-point arch and were only able to net four of the six free throws attempted, in the entire game. The Cyber Queens attempted 15 free throws and made 10. The Angels executed well on the defensive end, with the full court press, in the latter part of the third and early in the fourth, but Head Coach Kayla Campbell believes that they are out of sync.

She said: ”I think we have to work on our conditioning and getting our team chemistry back. Knowing where you suppose to be on the court and running the plays the way we were running them earlier in the year is very important. I think mostly the chemistry and the conditioning is what will get us back into the game again.

“We have been out for a week with Hugh Campbell and it is difficult to get the girls out on a consistent basis, so these games are really important, in terms of getting our team tuned up and ready for the playoffs. We can use this and other games to push ourselves so we don’t become complacent. We still need to realize that everyone wants to win. If we don’t come out with intensity and our A-game, we can get beat on any given night by any team.”

If the Cyber Queens capture the fourth spot they could play the Angels in the first round of the playoffs. That possible best-of-three series is being welcomed by Campbell and her squad as it gives them a chance to avenge Saturday’s loss.

“I think if we played them in the first round of the playoffs that would be perfect,” said Campbell.”I welcome the challenge because it will be a perfect opportunity for my girls to redeem themselves and show exactly what they are made of and what they can do. So, if Cybots are lucky enough to get to the fourth spot and make it to the playoffs, I welcome the challenge of seeing them and going to battle.”

Play in the NPWBA will continue on Tuesday with two games. The first is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.

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