Cheetahs stop Operators 82-72, Truckers down Queens 80-70


Senior Sports Reporter


PHILICIA Kelly had one memorable outing for the Career Builders Lady Cheetahs and the Johnson’s Lady Truckers had one weapon too many to stop as the two teams came up big on the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association’s (NPWBA) opening night.

As the NPWBA started its 2015 season under new management and with a few changes in team personnel, the defending champions Lady Cheetahs held off the depleted runners-up Bommer Gee Lady Operators 82-72 in the feature contest on Saturday night.

In the opener just after the opening ceremonies at the DW Davis Gymnasium, the Lady Truckers, still reeling over their success in the preseason tournament, was just as impressive with their 80-70 decision over the Super Value Cybots Queens.

Among the special guests in attendance were Tim Munnings, director of sports, and Loretta Butler-Turner, the FNM’s Member of Parliament for Long Island.

The league, now headed by Mynez Cargill, who resumes her position as the first president in 2003 when they broke away from the New Providence Basketball Association, has five teams registered to play this year with only one game played Tuesday and Thursday nights and a double header on Saturday.

• Here’s a summary of the matches

on opening night:

Lady Cheetahs 82,

Lady Operators 72

Kelly, last year’s most valuable player, didn’t skip a beat as she came out on another torrid pace to pour in a game high 36 points  on 14-of-24 from the field and 5-for-10 from the free throw line in 33 minutes and 56 seconds.

The talented swingwoman also pulled down nine rebounds, dished out five assists and got four steals to lead a balanced scoring attack for the Career Builders.

“I felt we played a pretty good first game. We played as a team. We looked good offensively, but defensively we could brush up on a few things. It’s the first game and we have a few new players, so we are feeling out each other,” Kelly said.

“I think we have a pretty good team that should be able to repeat as champions. I know I’m going to go out there and have fun and do whatever I can to help us win.”

Linda Pierre powered her way inside for 19 points and nine rebounds, Alyse Dean connected on 11 points, hitting 3-of-6 from behind the three-point arch and Anastacia Moultrie scored six points, but she recorded a game high 14 rebounds and a pair of block shots.

“For a team that hasn’t practiced in a while and coming back after playing in the preseason tournament, our conditioning is still very poor and it showed again as fatigue became a factor in the gamer,” said Lady Cheetahs’ coach Mario Bowleg.

“But I expect as the season progresses that we will still be the team to beat. Once we get in shape, we will be alright. We are lacking our conditioning and cohesiveness as it pertains to a lack of practice. But there’s no concern. We will be okay.”

Bommer Gee fell behind 16-7 at the end of the first quarter and after trailing just 36-35 at the half, watched as the Career Builders slowly pulled away in the second half, taking a 54-46 advantage into the final quarter where they managed to stay on top.

“We are undersized. We are still waiting on our bigs (players) to come and when we get outs, we will be alright,” said Bommer Gee’s coach Donnie Culmer. “If you look on our bench, you will see that we are rebuilding with a lot of young girls. We have 12 games to play and so once we come around, we will be alright.”

Antenique Young led the Lady Operators’ attack with 24 points, hitting 5-of-12 from the three-point line, to go along with five rebounds. Chrishanda Rahming scored 18 points and seven rebounds, Ises Wilson added 15 points and Sherelle Cash helped out with seven points and eight rebounds.

Truckers 80,

Cybots Queens 70

With so many offensive weapons to focus on, Super Value didn’t know who to really concentrate on as the Truckers spread their attack around.

Glenda Gilcud got loose for a game high 19 points, splitting her 28:50 minutes converting 6-of-15 from the field, 4-for-8 from the free throw line and 3-for-4 from the three-point line, adding six assists and three rebounds and steals.

Janice Williams had 16 points and a game high 17 rebounds with four steals and a block, Latoya Rolle got 14 points and five rebounds, Shantel Rolle broke away from a box in one defence for nine points with four rebounds and three assists.

Ann Bullard came in from Exuma and contributed six points, 16 rebounds with four assists and Melinda Bastian added six points and eight rebounds.

“The girls came out and were aggressive on defence and we were able to get some early shots that we made when they played man-to-man and that put them in foul trouble and we hit the shots down the stretch,” said Johnson’s coach Penial Bain. 

“I’m expecting big things from this team. We are just going to take it one game at a time, get through the regular season so that we can get a good position for the playoffs and then we will take it from there.”

Although he has added some younger players in his line-up, Bain said the veterans continue to perform and he will ride them for as long as they can, especially Bullard, who they will rely on to control the tempo of the game in clutch situations.

The Cybots, adding a few new players as well, got 18 points with seven rebounds and three assists from former Operators’ guard Melisha Peterson, while Taniel Poitier had 18 points, seven assists and four rebounds and steals.

Tracy Lewis had 15 points and nine rebounds and Deandra Cunningham chipped in with seven points and nine rebounds.


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