Sunday, April 14, 2024

Cougars find going rough


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?THE LOSSES just keep piling up for Cougars.
?Games, and players too.
Terrence Roach is just the latest casualty of Cougars’ train wreck, as the prized off-season addition called it quits before Saturday’s 93-73 humbling defeat against Smalta Pinelands in the Co-operators General Insurance Basketball Premier League at the Barbados Community College.
His early, but somewhat expected departure comes just days after the mercurial point guard had to be benched for the entire second half following an unruly half-time outburst.
And that was but a mere week after then head coach Oliver Nicholas also handed in his resignation amidst reports of tension between he and Roach.
Even long-standing veteran “big” Shawn Gaskin threatened not to return while Ricardo Jemmott was unavailable for the side’s third straight loss and fourth overall in five games.
Yet, they weren’t the only ones not to show up.
The rest of Cougars’ undermanned roster were basically all “no-shows” after halftime when Pinelands went on a 29-11 third-quarter run to blow open a six-point margin (45-39).
Oddly enough, Cougars had already survived two telling runs up to that point, with Jeremy Gill and Charles Vanderpool sparking a 10-2 start to the contest before Gill threatened again later.
But Selwyn Brooks seemed up to the cause each time, hitting a couple timely triples – the last of which ignited a game-tying 15-7 surge (34-34).
However, Ramon Simmons connected on back-to-back treys as part of a run of ten unanswered points to start the half (55-39) before Cougars’ sloppy play proved their eventual undoing.
Pinelands essentially lived in transition, with a series of Nicky Kig turnovers being converted into lay-ups from Gill, Simmons and Rico Thorpe. Simmons didn’t even have to pay for blowing an uncontested dunk as Cougars managed just 11 points for the entire third period.
The Pine led by as many as 29 points (80-51) before they eventually called off the dogs while Adrian Stewart had 13 fourth-quarter points to make the final score more respectable.
Gill finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Pinelands, who improved to a 4-1 record. Junior Moore added 19 points and 18 boards while Vanderpool chipped in with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Stewart led Cougars (2-4) with 26 points.
Earlier, Nikolai Burton had 17 points, including a pair of go-ahead free throws with 22 seconds left as Combined Schools Tridents earned their first win in two seasons with a 65-62 victory over Challengers.
Tied at 55, Tridents looked likely to put away the contest earlier as Burton split free throws prior to Joel Hunte’s nifty euro-step that put them ahead by two possessions.
But Ryan Moseley-Clarke had a huge put-back before Alwyn Lovell sank an even bigger turnaround over Kelan Phillips to give Challengers a 62-61 lead.
They even had a chance to extend that advantage, but Adrian Fowler came up empty at the line while Burton made no such mistake on the very next possession.
Challengers still could have regained the advantage had Julian Grant not missed a wide open mid range jumper on the next trip.
They never got back the ball though, as Phillips split a pair of free throws while schoolboys got back the rebound for two more Anand Joseph-Thorne foul shots.
Phillips led all scorers with 22 points and Joseph-Thorne netted 11 for Tridents (1-5) while Lovell had 18 points and 11 boards for Challengers (1-5).


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