The last chance to see the Fort Lee men’s basketball team play at home is Saturday, 3 p.m., at MacLaughlin Fitness Center against Fort Meade.
Those who witnessed the Travellers win last week against the Walter Reed Warriors can testify that this is a team on a mission.
“We marked our calendars awaiting this game,” said Travellers coach Charles Griffith. “Walter Reed had beat us 90-71 on their court while we were still trying to find our identity. I knew we were going to give them the fight of their lives this time around on our home court.”
The Walter Reed team executed well on offense until Griffith called a time out to rally the defense.
At the 10 minute mark of the first half, Walter Reed took a five-point lead, but the Travellers evened the score going into half time.
“I noticed the players had started dropping their heads every time Walter Reed scored, so I called a time out,” said Griffith. “At that particular moment, I had to show some emotion, and I told the team it’s time to get mentally strong and not bow to the pressure.”
That proved to be the right remedy as an aggressive defense put the Travellers ahead on the scoreboard.
On four separate scoring opportunities, the Travellers’ Chauncey McDonald evened the score or put the home team ahead. Homer Rose added two at the free throw line to secure the win for the Travellers, 76-72. McDonald and Alki Henry led the team’s scoring with 14 each, while Rose scored 11 and Anthony Luvene added 10 in the win.
The Fort Lee team vindicated themselves for the earlier loss against the Warriors, but they next face the Fort Meade team who handed them a 105-95 loss in February.
After this weekend’s contest, Fort Meade, currently 13 - 0 in the league, will have home court advantage when the rivals meet again April 12 - 13 in the playoffs. The Travellers (11-3) will close out the season April 5 against Bolling Air Force Base.
The Fort Lee Lady Travellers also have a tough contest ahead Saturday, 1 p.m., as they face the top-ranked Fort Meade women’s basketball team at MacLaughlin Fitness Center.
Cheron Bland led the Lady Travellers over the Easter weekend against the Walter Reed Lady Warriors, with 13 points in the 72-58 win. Jenille Clay scored 11 and Paula Tucker contributed 10 in the win.
The Lady Travellers, 7-2 in the WAMAC, will end the regular season against Fort Meade (8-1). Should Fort Lee win the game, they would take the No. 1 spot in the league, said Lady Travellers coach Marvin Michael.
“This should be reason enough for everyone to come out and support the team this weekend,” said Michael. “And I want to reiterate what I said last week about those two losses we suffered earlier this season. Those were our last. Nothing but wins for the rest of the season and playoffs.”