Maryland Jewels Get The Win in WBDA Debut
Maryland Jewels defeated the Lady Patriots in their Season Debut
Prince George's County, WBDA Pro – The Maryland Jewels made their season debut with a 96-44 victory over the Patriots on Saturday, May 21st. First year Head Coach Breanna Gross compiled a dominant force of Jewels veterans and newcomers for a collaborative effort in a home opening victory.
Second year Jewels player and former Syracuse small forward Raven Fox led all players with a whopping 36 points. The Patriots struggled to contain Fox as she was a scoring threat at all three levels with 14 field goals made, as well as one of the team's defensive leaders rebounds and steals.
Former Coppin State power forward (2016-2020) Dami Oloyede was the team’s second leading scorer in double figures. She made her Maryland Jewels debut with 13 points, shot over 50 percent from the field and compiled multiple rebounds.
Kaiya Coleman also scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points and led the Jewels from beyond the arch with two threes.
Second year Jewel member and former Rider University guard Taylour Jones brought immense leadership presence for the Jewels as she went for eight points as an all around scorer.
Forward Kayla Trowell returns for the Jewels this season as she went for nine points with four field goals made. The team was eager to have Daria Simmons back for her third year as she finished with five points.
The Jewels had two new editions to their starting line-up which included Chantelle Gross as point guard and former LaSalle center Sofilia Ngwafang. Gross was the key facilitator for the Jewels and maintained a rhythmic offence throughout the game and brought a high octane and scrappy presence on both ends of the floor. Ngwafang dominated the paint, and led the Jewels in rebounds in her debut. Gross and Ngwafang finished with six points each.
Prominent defensive forces for the Jewels included former Coppin State shooting guard Abby Weiss as well as second year Jewels member Danielle Pray. Weiss finished with six points while Pray was one of the primary facilitators for the team and maintained the tempo of the game.
After trailing in the beginning of the first quarter, Fox had a hot hand and scored a quick eight points to reverse the lead. Gross kept the wheels turning as she dimed down Ngwafang, who scored an and-1 off of her own put back. The Jewels led 17-11 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the Jewels pulled away through a balanced attack. Gross consistently blew past her defenders and broke them down and scored from two attacks to the rim. Oloyede got her feet wet with a put back and a midrange pull up off of an assist by Weiss. Gross, Fox, and Oloyede crashed the boards and gave the Jewels multiple second chance opportunities, finishing with 11 rebounds. Fox and Oloyede finished with 8 and 7 rebounds respectively.
The Jewels went into the second half with a lead exceeding twenty points. Oloyede led the third quarter with eight points in the paint, while Trowell got hot with six points in the quarter with a few shifty midrange and floater finishes. Fox and Coleman hit a pair of threes while Simmons and Jones kept the wheels spinning with a pair of layups including an and-1 from Jones.
With over a thirty point lead going into the fourth, the Patriots got hot from beyond the arch at the start of the quarter with three straight threes. Fox responded with 12 points alone to dismantle the Patriots momentum. The Jewels totaled 31 points in the fourth quarter alone and secured a 52 point victory with a final score of 96-44.
Words from Coach Gross: “I am so proud of my team, we got these ladies together just four weeks ago, so I am so eager for us to continue to progress. Regardless of how the score looks, you can never underestimate any team on making a comeback, and I told these ladies to keep playing as if we are down. It is hard to beat any team twice, so we need to keep working hard and being consistent, but I could not be any more proud of this team”.
Up Next: The Jewels get a bye week and will be back in action for game two against the Lady Patriots for a 3:00 PM away game on Saturday, June 4th. Click here to secure your home game tickets for the season!