Truckers hand Angels first loss of the season
Meeting the Bommer G. Angels at an intersection, on the road to the championship title, is something members of the Johnson’s Lady Truckers basketball team said they are ready to do.
Handing the Angels their first loss of the season has given the Lady Truckers confidence that they can send the pennant winners home, eliminating them from the championship picture in the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association (NPWBA). The Truckers, led by veteran guard Glenda Gilcud, pulled off a close 73-71 victory on Saturday night. The game which had fans on the edge of their seats from the opening tip, went down to the wire.
The Angels came back after a 10-point deficit and pulled within two. With their starting point guard Diasti Delancey in foul trouble, Head Coach Anthony Swaby turned to Malesha Peterson and Kaylicia Laing to control the tempo of the game for his team.
Peterson, who came into the game in the third quarter, turned the ball over three times before “shaking off the jitters”. The Lady Truckers took full advantage of the three turnovers, adding seven points to their lead which was cut down to five at that time. Gilcud scored five of the seven points, connecting from behind the three-point arc and netting a long jumper. She stripped Laing, who had just checked in, dishing it on to Audrey Martin. Martin missed the jump shot, but teammate Latoya Rolle was there to clean up the boards. Rolle closed the game with six offensive rebounds and seven defensive boards. She wiggled her way around Ashley Moss, the dominant rebounder for the Angels.
Like Delancey, Moss was also in foul trouble but Swaby left her in the game hoping that her presence would intimidate the Lady Truckers. However, Shantell Rolle and crew were not scared. The return of Janice Williams along with Rolle and Deandra Cunningham helped the Lady Truckers push on. Between the three, 31 boards were secured. The second-shot opportunities also helped the team out because point guard Rolle was in a shooting slump. She gained confidence after scoring off the batted balls she chased down.
“It was a tough game and we knew that the Angels would be a tough team to beat,” said Shantell Rolle. “As long as we played together, dominate the boards and execute the fast paced game, we knew we would win. It feels good to be the team to hand the Angels a loss. This won’t be the first one they would get from us either. We really don’t have to go back to the drawing board and change anything. Yes we have to work on one or two things but we will be good by the time the playoffs roll around.”
Gilcud led all scorers with 21 points, four rebounds and two assists. Martin and Rolle netted 16 and 15 points respectively. Moss, who had 21 rebounds, scored 13 points. Delancey also had 13 points, pulled down nine rebounds, had six assists and two steals, while Keisha Richardson scored 11 points.
The loss for the Angels could not come at a better time, according to Swaby. He believes that his team needed to lose a game to wake them up.
“We are not too pleased that we lost, but I must say that we needed the loss in order to wake us up,” said Swaby. “No team will come in here and give you anything, you have to always play hard for it and that is the lesson that we learned tonight. The team is ready now, they will play hard and continue to play hard because they don’t want to feel this way again, so I don’t expect to see the Angels lose another game.”