Monday, April 22, 2024

Lady Cavs swarm all over Bulls


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THERE WASN’T A WAR of words this time.Neither was there a battle on the court.Women’s basketball most ardent rivalry felt like anything but that last Saturday, as Jamila Studer (née Griffith) had a game-high 27 points to lead nine-time league champs Mpact Station Hill Cavaliers to a 69-46 rout of a short-handed Act II Popcorn Clapham Bulls in their second-round encounter at the YMCA.Prolific forwardHer surname might not be the same, but Clapham’s results against the prolific forward proved no different after Studer more than made up for her absence in May’s heated first-round loss.But unlike that two-point decision, this contest was over long before the opening tip when the previously unbeaten Bulls only managed to dress five players, none of whom included national players Shakira Shorey, Toni Atherley, and Laurel Browne.It led to the Cavs dominating the offensive glass, as Studer and twin towers Wanda Agard-Belgrave and Astrid Alleyne combined for 21 second-quarter points and all of the champs’ 20-3 run that blew open the game at the end of the period.SurvivedBefore that surge, Clapham twice survived menacing spurts from Station Hill, overcoming the initial absence of their senior players and Jennifer Joseph-Hackett’s early foul trouble.The first came after they only scored two points within the first six minutes, with Joseph-Hackett hitting a series of free-throw line jumpers to delay the Cavs’ inevitable flurry.And that game-changing moment seemingly came when Station Hill eventually closed the first on an 8-1 run, only for the Bulls to score six unanswered of their own to open the ensuing period as part of a 10-3 rally that reduced the deficit to one (20-19).It was all Clapham could muster, though, once Griffith replied with the first of two successive mid-range jumpers, which were soon followed by similar jumpers from Alleyne and Agard-Belgrave before the trio dominated the paint.The result was a massive 40-22 half-time advantage that grew to as much as 25 points after Ruth Gill was forced to the bench while picking up her fourth foul just 1:45 into the third quarter.TurnoversClapham’s woes then increased two-fold when point guard Sade Clarke went to the bench for a quick breather, resulting in several unforced turnovers for the lady Bulls in the absence of another ball-handler.Alleyne finished with 17 points and Agard-Belgrave added a further 15 for the Cavs, who took over the league’s top spot with the victory; Joseph-Hackett top-scored for Clapham with 12.


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