Wolverines’ big bite
Newly promoted Wolverines scored a stunning upset over former Division 1 netball queens C.O. Williams Rangers when the big guns finally joined the 2018 action on Wednesday night at the Netball Stadium.
Wolverines more looked like the big guns as they led 11-5, 21-16 and 29-23 before mauling the Rangers in the fourth quarter to take the match 40-26.
Wolverines were facing Division 1 extinction after losing twice in the battle of the small three, previously going down to Spooners Hill and new first Division 1 unit Goodride Ballers.
Even after Wolverines had scored the first two goals, the spectators were waiting for the Rangers to take charge. But after locking the scores at four, Rangers lost the plot, with the Wolverines scoring six successive goals before Rangers earned their next.
The slimly built Carla Boyce was on fire at that stage before a knock to the head doused her flames for her and the other Wolverines shooter Tricia Briggs to miss many simple shots while still keeping the advantage.
Boyce scored 28 of 40, while the experienced Briggs struggled with her shooting form, adding 12 of 21. However, the tough defence of Vincentian Shamara Warner, who has been stationed in Barbados for the past four years with the Regional Security Systems, and Stacy Atherley confounded and defeated the Rangers.
Mixing physical toughness with speed and impressive elevation Warner and Atherley blunted the attack from rookies Tatyana Walrond and Xhane Greenidge while executing a number of awesome steals and rebounds.
With last season’s MVP Rhe-Ann Mapp out injured and looking on as a mere spectator, while Nikita Payne remains in Australia, Wolverines showed little respect for the once great Rangers.
The experienced Tonisha Rock Yaw, Jalisa Lovell, stand-in captain Rashanna Graham and Kerri King created many opportunities for their green shooting duo. But, Greenidge and Walrond, who shot 16 of 23 and 10 of 14, respectively, and Rangers were always playing catch up.
In the fourth quarter Wolverines stunningly held Rangers scoreless until two minutes and 20 seconds before the final whistle as they smartly played around the ball in mid court before converting it to move from 34-23 to 40-23.
When Walrond finally ended the drought, making it 24-40, it was merely Rangers’ death throes. Wolverines allowed them to flutter to two more points before bringing an end to the shocker. (KB)