Wismar has big assignment against Lodge tonight
-National women teams start three-game series
By Edison Jefford
This may not be your typical David and Goliath story even though the track record of both teams in the
first Super Eight game of the National Community Basketball League (NCBL) might be so suggestive. The truth is, Wismar deserve to be in the quarterfinals.
Now that the sheep have been separated from the goat; the weed removed from among the wheat and the paddy from the rice, the NCBL intensifies tonight at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with at least one team knowing if its journey to the Finals will continue.
For those who have not been following the tournament, Linden’s Wismar will face the unbeaten Lodge/Meadowbrook in the first quarterfinal game of the NCBL. It is a win or go home situation since it is the commencement of the knockout round in the competition.
There might be the fact that Wismar is much younger, much shorter and have one lost coming in the game tonight from the group stage. Those facts might lead to the belief that they are David in the contest against a team that has looked as confident as a champion.
Undoubtedly, Wismar is a team in transition. There is the absence of Quincy ‘Prag-Z’ Jones, and Nevin Grenville, who both built the championship outfit that last won a national title, under what was the Wismar Pistons. This Wismar team is different in many ways.
First, it is a combination of ball players from teams on the western half of a Demerara River that divides Linden. Second, several younger players, mostly guards, have hauled them into this level of the competition, which speaks volumes of the depth Linden sustains.
The only remaining veteran for Wismar is Trevor Profitt, who told Kaieteur Sport in Linden last weekend that he is quite contented with his behind-the-scenes role. Profitt may very well have to change that approach tonight if Wismar is to beat Lodge/Meadowbrook.
Profitt is a senior forward who will have to shoulder some responsibility tonight. Shooting guard, Chris Williams will have to be at his best as well. The young, sharp-shooter has had the potential to compete for the position on the national team, but needs to be consistent.
His former junior national team-mate, Marlon Pollydore will also have to step up big for Wismar in the must-win game tonight. Pollydore is a pure scorer in the guard position, but he faces mean opposition from Lodge/Meadowbrook in every meaning of the word.
Lodge/Meadowbrook has eased through the tournament unthreatened. At this point, their run will continue unless Wismar has an extraordinary game shooting the ball. Wismar do not have the ‘bigs’ to compete with Lodge. However, they certainly have the guards, the speed.
Drumson McCulley has returned to Lodge with a bang; the forward was the leading scorer in the last game while Darrion Lewis continues to put up the numbers. But it is the defensive efforts of Mortimer Williams and Fabian Johnson in the paint that has been dominant.
The bottom-line is that to night features two diametrically opposed teams; what one lacks in size, the other has in large proportions and vice-versa in speed. Who prevails tonight depends heavily on who exploits their strengths the most. Wismar will not simply bow out.
Meanwhile, local female basketball players will be starting a rivalry of their own in a three-game series between the national junior and senior players. The local women’s game will be the first of the night that starts at 7pm before the Lodge versus Wismar showdown.
Point guard, Lowquantor Gibson will lead the junior females, most of who competed at the Inter-Guiana Games last year. Centre Jinelle Ifill along with point guard Tamara Hunter and Kadi-Ann Rowe will also be among the Juniors with Kristy Roberts offering support.
Natasha Alder, who was one of the most outstanding players in Antigua recently, leads the senior women into the contest tonight. She will get support from the Timeki Joseph, Nichola Jacobs and Sonia Rodney, who have all represented Guyana at the senior level.