Cyclones hold their nerve to short-circuit Power
BASKETBALL: Coach Chris Muggeridge has praised the Cyclones’ ability to perform under pressure after their determined six-point win over Port City Power on Saturday night.
Undaunted by a 14-point deficit at half-time, the Cyclones stormed home to secure the win in front of a high-charged parochial Gladstone crowd at Kev Broome Stadium.
The result extends the team’s winning run to 14 and sets up a mouth-watering contest against second-placed Mackay at Hegvold Stadium this weekend. Victory will secure the minor premiership and a direct route to a home semi-final for the Cyclones.
Muggeridge said Saturday’s game provided the perfect preparation for the Cyclones’ quest for back-to-back QBL titles.
“It was a really tough game and I thought the girls in the second half were excellent,” he said.
“We didn’t let the pressure get to us. We played smart, did the little things right, grinded it out and got the win.
“They had a huge home crowd pushing them along. For us to play through that pressure and hold our nerve was really impressive.
“Gladstone were at a different level and they pushed us to the final buzzer. That’s great preparation for Mackay, who are even better.”
The Cyclones’ American imports Shanavia Dowdell and Chandrea Jones did the lion’s share of the scoring, landing 56 of the team’s 69 points between them.
But Muggeridge said it was a whole of team performance.
“Every player did their job and when it got hard no one quit. It was our determination to get there and the belief in ourselves that got us over the line,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Rockhampton Rockets slipped to fifth place on the men’s QBL ladder after being beaten by the Power in a nail biter decided in the dying seconds of the match.
After a see-sawing encounter, the Rockets Jordan Gregory dropped a three-pointer to level the scores at 100-all with just 12 seconds left on the clock.
But the Power’s Remy Lawyer produced a three-point play of his own with just four seconds to go to seal the win for the home side 103-100.