Cougars’ League season looks lost
By Jusitn Marville | Mon, April 30, 2012 - 12:02 AM
Two players have been banned. Their sponsorship is gone.
And this Premier League season is already starting to look just as lost to Cougars.
Charles Vanderpool led four players with 19 points and Pinelands led by as many as 21 following an effortless 17-6 fourth-quarter run that sent basketball’s now toothless Cougars reeling to a listless 65-76 loss on Saturday at the YMCA.
Whatever fight they had before seemed to be reserved for the brawl as the Hothersal Turning side looked at ease slumping to a second straight defeat while timidly conceding ten unanswered points in a pivotal late-game stretch.
This was after Pinelands already had a 20-point cushion (55-35) in the third quarter by scoring the easiest of 11 straight points as part of a 17-4 start to the second half.
Clearly, losing just Godfrey Leacock and Anthony White wasn’t good enough. And to think it wasn’t that long ago when Pinelands were the ones with issues.
But the pre-season contenders rebounded from three defeats and the loss of injured swingman Ramon Simmons to move out of the cellar after winning their second game in succession.
It wasn’t without trial though. Adrian Stewart bullied his way for five of his team’s last nine points of the third before scoring five quick points on the other side of the break; and Cougars threatened after cutting Pinelands’ lead to ten (59-49) with nine minutes remaining.
However, that proved the full extent of a short-lived rally, with Vanderpool, Gary Miller and Daniel Lovell responding with five consecutive uncontested lay-ups off a string of Cougars turnovers.
It was a mirror image of Pinelands’ third-quarter run where Lovell converted his opponents’ misgivings into an open court dunk and successive assists to Kurt Elias – turning a 38-31 half-time lead into a 49-33 cushion.
Elias finished with 18 points, Miller added a further 17 and Lovell chipped in with 14 for Pinelands, who improved to a 2-3 record. Stewart led Cougars (2-2) with a game-high 30 points while Stevenson Callender was the only other player in double digits with ten.
Earlier, Selwyn Brooks overcame a four-game slump to score six of his season-high 23 points down the stretch as Colombian Emeralds International Senators won their first game of the season in a 79-70 win over the woeful Co-operators General Tridents.
Romaine Lovell had 24 points and Nicholas Jones added 18 for Senators (1-4) in a battle of the winless where Tridents threatened to lose in another rout.
But the schoolboys bounced back from an early 30-19 deficit on a series of Alejandro Boxhill drives and jumpers before taking a 43-42 half-time lead via transition lay-ups from Kareem Neblett and the post play of Antonio Sealy, who ended with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Boxhill scored 17 and Neblett finished with 13 points for the 0-5 schoolboys.
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