Lady Raptors control boards, roll to 74-59 win over Dundalk

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To coaches, the pace at which the players work together on the court can be overwhelmingly satisfying, or almost strange. If teams get out to a quick, efficient start like the Lady Raptors away against CCBC Dundalk, it can be challenging for some coaches to demand that pace and energy from their players.

That was not the case for head coach Tarlough Gasque and her staff on Wednesday night. The Lady Raptors were hawking boards all night long to a 74-59 win, with chances for put back after put back. What’s more, the staff didn’t stop scouting and tweaking the game plan, even with a very early 20-point lead through the latter part of the first half.

At halftime, head coach Gasque talked more to her Lady Raptors’ defensive effort, rather than their 40-point first half effort offensively. “[Dundalk players] are taking more outside shots than inside shots so far,” she said. “That’s a good thing for us. We feel like we can defend those well.”

Though the Dundalk Lions were having a tough go of it with the lack of a dominant inside presence, the road team was having no such trouble. Jocelyn Martin had a total of 18 rebounds against the Lions’ front. An impressive seven of them were offensive rebounds, which lead to key second chance points for the Lady Raptors.

However, later in the second half, with about nine minutes to go, Martin came down from a jump for a rebound and injured her foot. Martin had to be assisted off the court by two team members. The medical assistant on site confirmed Martin’s injury was a middle foot contusion. She did not return, and her status is doubtful for Prince George’s on Saturday.

Martin’s play is even more crucial than it would seem to those who don’t know the roster well. “We all have to be very versatile on this team.,” Jameelah Thalley said. “We don’t have a bunch of 6’4” or 6’5” players on this team, so that’s why you’ll see girls playing two or three different positions. Having Jocelyn allows us to be even better.”

Thalley finished well, with eight rebounds, eight assists, and just two turnovers.

Efforts from Martin, Thalley, and the rest of the Lady Raptors were more than enough to blow out a Dundalk team that had been solid in the past few games. “We’re not what they made us look like tonight,” Dundalk head coach Robert Long said. “We are physical, but they just brought it more tonight. We have to give credit to them.”