Condors turn down Noise in debut

By The Columbia Chronicle

On Nov. 6 the Chicago Condors rocked the house in their season home debut before a crowd of 7,060 as they slam dunked fellow ABL expansion team, the Nashville Noise, at the UIC Pavilion by a final score of 84-67.

Early on, it looked as if the celebrities in attendance and the home court would have its advantages as the Condors took control with forward, Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Griffith, who was 3 for 3 from the field.

From then on, the Condors were able to keep up the momentum and outscore the Noise by 11 points at the end of the first quarter. One of the players that stepped up to help offensively in the first quarter was starting 6″4 forward Cathy Boswell, who was three for three from the field and connected with two three-pointers.

The Bulls were represented by Ron Harper and Bill Wennington. Harper was taking in the game front and center on the sidelines, while Wennington checked out the game in the seats behind Coach Jim Cleamons and the Condors bench. Offensively the Noise couldn’t seem to get it together, unsuccessful in all three of their attempted three pointers. The Noise had six turnovers in the first quarter which didn’t help matters, and they tried to redeem themselves before the close of the first quarter with three steals by forward Lauretta Freeman and guard Saudia Roundtree.

The second quarter seemed to be more of the same, but this time the Noise out- did the Condors as they were able to recover 23 rebounds, including 12 offensively. Once again, the Condor’s Griffith was a key player as she connected with five of five, and Boswell upped the score by six with two three- pointers.

The Condors were able to devastate the Noise with six steals, four being the results of aggressive play by guard Deanna Tate. It was more than evident that the Condors were there to play ball when the first half ended with a score of 44-22.

Cleamons commented on the Condor’s defense in the first half Cleamons said, “I thought we took them out of whatever they were trying to run and our defense took the day,” Cleamons said that the energy that the team possessed in the first and second quarter certainly took the Noise out of their game.

“We did not want to depend on the crowd to carry us. We wanted to give the crowd the energy to allow us to go out and play and then feed on the energy the crowd would give us. We were certainly pleased and very happy with the energy that was in the building tonight,” said Cleamons.

In the third quarter the Noise were able to add only 23 points to their score, but the Condors outscored them again and were able to put 25 additional points on the board. The Condor’s Tate was all over the court and defensively took in 7 rebounds. She also dominated the field with five assists and four steals.

The Noise’s forward Vicki Hall lead the team in the second half in scoring with 13 total points, with Roundtree bringing up the rear with 10. Unfortunately for the Noise, the third quarter stats showed they just couldn’t keep the ball and turned it over 13 times.

Boswell said, “We played some good defense, tried to make them have just one shot and get in there and get the rebounds. We scrapped a lot so that helped us out a lot.”

In the fourth quarter the Noise and the Condors had a personal foul contest, with the Noise having 30 and the Condors with 31. Condors rookie guard Tausha Mills was able to strut her stuff and blocked two shots even though she was one for two from the field.

Recently- signed guard Joanne McCarthy was happy to be playing on UIC courts again and finished out her ABL debut one for seven.

Commenting on what the team did well throughout the game, McCarthy said, “We forced a lot of turnovers, we had some great fast breaks, we put the pressure on and it actually worked.”

Harper summed up the Condor’s exciting home game. I think they are one of the most exciting teams I’ve seen play in the ABL and I think it’s going to be great for the city of Chicago. Harper added that he hoped for the best for the team and had nothing but praise for Coach Cleamons. “He knows the game of basketball and I believe he’ll do a fine job. They looked very good tonight,” added Harper.

Playing the Rage on the road was as devastating as ‘road rage.’ The Condors lost 73-56 on the road against the Philadelphia Rage on Nov. 7 when they went against one of the best players in the league, Teresa Edwards. The Condors gave up 27 turnovers and were outscored by the Rage 25-10 in the first half. Things didn’t look any better as the Condors went for 9 of 34 in the second half. The Condors ran out of steam and in the end were unable to rally for a comeback.