Sport 2 Pinelands force Game 3
by justinmarville @nationnews.com triple to transform Cougars’ 56-50 cushion into a onescore game (60-58) at the end of the third quarter.
However, Toni Atherley continued to be as indomitable as ever, going coast to coast for a tough layup before Latecia Green restored Cougars’ six-point advantage (64-58) on a baseline jumper.
Yet they never led again once Maria Cumberbatch got the ball rolling with two free throws and a layup off a steal to set the stage for Walcott’s late-game heroics.
Cumberbatch was actually the one who looked like she donned the cape early when she exploded for 12 quick points as the linchpin of Pinelands’ 28-16 start to the contest.
Seemingly unbothered by Alleyne’s surprise addition, the fleet-footed Cumberbatch sped out in transition for a series of fast-break buckets to key her side’s latest double-digit lead in the series.
But they only scored a further seven points for the rest of the half as Alleyne grew comfortable in her role down low for the new team.
She proved the perfect foil for a rampaging Atherley, who drained back- to-back treys and two free throws in a whirlwind 22-7 Cougars run that turned their 12-point deficit into an unlikely 38-35 halftime lead.
The two sides then traded baskets for much of the ensuing third before Atherley went end to end again for another layup to put Cougars ahead 56-50.
Cumberbatch finished with 28 points and Latifa Wood had 16 for Pinelands while Atherley had another triple-double effort with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Alleyne added 21 points and 11 boards for Cougars.
NOTHING EASY: Pine guard Makela Walcott (right) trying to finish this left handed layup over Toni Atherley.