Queens hunt down Wildcats to grab third win of the season in 75-69 thriller

Gloucester City Queens notched their third win of their inaugural WBBL season as they took down a troubling Nottingham Wildcats 75-69 at Oxstalls Sports Park.

Queens star Bianca Osas-Maxwell led the game with 19 important points - including two buzzer beaters and go-ahead threes - alongside eight rebounds to lift the home side over the line.

New signings Carolina Marques and Shanice Turner were also instrumental pieces to the Queens jigsaw puzzle with 16 and 12 points respectively.

The Queens will look to bring this momentum ahead of next month’s fixture against Caledonia Pride on February 20th at the Pleasance Sports Complex & Gym.

The Wildcats came with their claws out to start the game, a run of nine straight meant an early lead for the away side. However, the Queens would rally with eight points of their own - the quarter closing out with an Osas-Maxwell buzzer beater layup to bring the game to 13-17.

The second quarter was more aggressive from head coach Jay Marriott’s side, and despite falling to a 13-25 score, the home side rallied strong - a 20-3 run to end the half from the Queens that included two Marlee Ball threes meant a Queens lead of 33-28 at the half.

With both sides taking each of the first half’s quarters, it was no surprise the third was a back-and-forth affair with both teams bringing the scoreline to a one possession game, the home side matching the Wildcats blow-for-blow to finish the quarter 49-51.

The final quarter was something of a nail-biter, the lead being swapped twice before the home team got a grip of the game. With the score tied at 65-a-piece with just 1:26 on the clock, two Claire Abbott free throws gave the Queens a slim lead before a dagger three-pointer from Osas-Maxwell made it a five-point game.

The final 50 seconds saw the Queens stretch their lead to eight - a myriad of fouls from the visitors saw free throws from Marques, Turner and veteran Alex Haley drop before the final buzzer sounded meaning a third tick in the win column for the Queens this season.

After the game, Marriott was delighted with his squad’s victory and let doubters know how he truly felt.

“It feels great, we really competed with them last week and we’ve showed that we deserve to be here with a win today.

“We’ve tightened up a few little ‘1%’ things, there was a lot of noise around the team this week, taking a few shots at me and the team, calling us a Division 1 Team. We’ve just gone and competed with a serial winner in Nottingham Wildcats, so I think we’ve quietened those people down.”

Marriott also spoke about the two new signings the Queens have made in recent weeks and how well they’ve gelled with their new teammates.

“The additions of Carolina [Marques] and Shanice [Turner] have been fantastic. They’ve completely bought into the fact that they’re here to play as a team, to up the levels for us and they’ve been doing that brilliantly so far.”

Osas-Maxwell gave her thoughts on the Queens performance after the game saying people don’t know her true position and that’s she’s much more than an inside player.

“I kept thinking ‘I’ve just got to give my all for the team, their bigs can’t guard me so I’m going to keep going at them until someone stops me’ and my teammates responded, kept me going when I was tired, and we got the dub.

“People keep saying I’m a Five, and I’m not. People sleep on me when it comes to my shooting so I had to let them know!”

The Queens travel up to Edinburgh to face off against Caledonia Pride at the Pleasance Sports Complex & Gym on February 20th with tip-off at 15:00.

Attendance: 50

Written by Oliver Jones.