Close contests in schools' basketball

Combermere went into “enemy” territory at Husbands, St. James yesterday evening and came out unscathed as action continued in the United Insurance-sponsored National Sports Council’s Senior Schools Basketball tournament.

Led by the dominant play of an impressive Jamario Clarke, who bagged 28 points, the Waterford, St. Michael lads defeated Queen’s College 61-57 in a close encounter where Clarke’s composure in the paint and soft shooting touch proved the major difference between the two teams.It was not all plain sailing for Combermere, though, as Queen’s College had the better of the early exchanges, thanks mainly to Alejandro Boxill and Nicolas Grannum.

Indeed, at the half-time whistle, the hosts held a slight lead with the score being 25-23.

The second half of the game saw both teams exchanging baskets with Jimal Singh adding some punch to Combermere’s efforts both on the offensive and defensive ends. He ended the match-up with 22 points.

For Queen’s College, some late turn-overs cost them dearly and their inability to make stops when it mattered most eventually led to Combermere leaving St. James with bragging rights.

Boxill and Grannum had 23 and 10 points respectively for Queen’s College.

In other action, joint league leaders Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic ignored the boisterous support which the home team received at Crumpton Street to defeat Harrison College 49-43 in an encounter that was another exciting match-up.

The polytechnic’s Nicholas Rouse led all scorers with 22 points and got able assistance from Ashley Smith, who played consistently well on both offence and defence during his 10-point output.

The Wildey, St. Michael institution had a narrow lead going into the half with the score 19-18.

In the second period, they generally kept Harrison College at bay despite the latter’s best efforts to give their home fans something to cheer about.

The pattern of close games during the day ended in St. John as The Lodge School became the third home team to disappoint their supporters when they went down to the Barbados Community College in a 59-26 drubbing.

If their first half performance was shaky, scoring only 18 points, The Lodge School’s second half showing was even more dismal as the BCC’s defence limited them to a meagre eight points. It wasn’t pretty.

For the BCC it was a good all-round performance, although they were not really tested during the game.

Lamar Grazette had 18 points, Kelan Phillips netted 12 and Stefan Ottley scored 11. None of The Lodge School unit managed double figures.

At Church Hill Foundation was the only school where home-court advantage counted for anything when they defeated the St. Michael School 51-36.

Akeem Marshall was all over the Martindale’s Road, St. Michael school, scoring at will to drop a game-high 30 points on the visitors.

The St. Michael School’s offensive effort was basically a one-man show with Darian Hurley’s 18 points, half his team’s production, telling its own story. The half-time score was 27-12.

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