Second half starts for Steel City Queens on Saturday

by Thomas Leturgey with Arianna Rosemond

The Steel City Queens hope that the second-half of the Women’s American Basketball Association (WABA) will bode better in Allentown.

Ace Pippens and Clyde Mann’s team is 0-4 at the midway point, coming off of an injury-forced forfeit last weekend. The Queens were supposed to travel to DC to play the DC Cyclones, but they couldn’t court five players. That happens from time-to-time in the WABA and their brother league, the ABA. 

This Saturday, the Queens return to A Giving Heart Community Center in Allentown and expect to play the 2-1 Virginia Hearts. The Dametra Lewis-owned club defeated DC last weekend, 73-60. That avenged their season-opening loss to the Cyclones, 102-66. The Hearts also defeated the Greensboro Kaos earlier this season. The Queens lost their first game to Greensboro by a definitive, early lead but nearly came back to win the rematch.

The Queens have added to their ranks. Jasmine Myers, a 5’7” small forward/power forward from Monroe Community College has been added to the Queens. 

And Alexis Brito is a 5’9” shooting guard from St. Petersburg College. “I’m just excited to be a part of something bigger than me in a new state,” she said in a message this week. 

The Queens have been trying to find their way in the early season. Sierra Williams, Shatayla White and Katelyn Fischer have led the way early on with Ciarra Patterson adding a spark. It’s too early in the week to know how Tyra James feels after tweaking her ankle on July 24 against the Kaos. And the on-court  of future Brittany Jackson-Lowe, who also had an ankle injury earlier in the season, is unknown. 

With the addition of Myers, Ariana Sanders and Arianna Rosemond, who have contributed in limited roles, won’t have to carry as much of a burden in the paint.

This is a chance for the Queens to go on a run and get back into Top 8 contention. The Atlanta Angels are 4-0 and perennial favorites the Jacksonville Force are 3-0 and have been defeating their opposition by large margins. The Cyclones are 3-1 and the Hearts are 3-1.

If the Queens can keep their defense tight, which they initially did against the Kaos at their last game, they may be able to stay in these last four contests. If Fischer can continue to run-and-gun, if White, Williams and Sanders can play their game, and if Patterson can find that so-far elusive three-point shot from the corner, the Queens can find themselves in the playoff picture at the end of the season. Currently ranked #15, a few breaks could get the Queens into the Top 8, where anything can happen.

The Virginia Hearts and Steel City Queens tip off at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 6. The Queens and Hearts will finish out the regular season against one another on August 28 in Northern Virginia.    

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