Down to the wire!
These and more could be used to describe the excitement that unfolded this evening at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus’ hard-court as Ellerslie had a thrilling 82-80 †overtime victory against Lester Vaughan in the United Insurance-sponsored National Sports Council’s Senior Secondary Schools Division 2 Basketball finals. †
The sensational Antoine Morris was the star of the evening with a game-high 39 points, accounting for almost half of Ellerslie’s final tally, and in so doing securing his team’s first title in 17 years. He combined well with a gutsy Kadeem Brathwaithe, who, despite being in a position of having more bandages than exposed skin, finished with 15 points.
For the first half of the match Ellerslie dominated proceedings, registering a ten-point lead at the end of the half-time buzzer. However, a series of fouls and quick turnovers on the part of Ellerslie put Lester Vaughan back in contention at the start of the third quarter.
They were also helped by the fact that Morris was off to catch a breather for a brief moment. However, his re-introduction meant that momentum shifted back to the boys from Black Rock.
Foul trouble for Morris, which dictated that he be benched for the remainder of the quarter,† also meant further turnover trouble for Ellerslie as Lester Vaughan pulled back the deficit within three.
Zacharay Cave and Brandon Hope with 27 and 17 points respectively were the driving force behind this resurgence.
In the end it was too many fouls and poor man marking which took the wind out of the Lester Vaughn sails.
In the Division 1 final played afterwards, the Barbados Community College defeated the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic 61-50 to succesfully defend their title.
Kelan Phillips with 12 points, Orion Seale 12, Stephan Ottley 13, and Jare Alleyne, 11, led the offensive efforts of the victors, while†for SJPP,†Ashley Smith netted 14 and Alexander Cumberbatch chipped in with 11.