Harrison College end leaders unbeaten run
The Division One secondary schools basketball title might just remain at Crumpton Street, St. Michael for another year if Harrison College have their way.
This afternoon playing at home in the Massy United Insurance-sponsored Secondary Schools Basketball Competition, Harrison College made a major statement when they pulled off an impressive 60-40 victory over the previously unbeaten Combermere.
It was a case of Harrison College recognizing the importance of the encounter and Combermere leaving their “A” game somewhere in Waterford. And it was an “A” game which they needed to withstand an outstanding performance from Nicholai Burton who poured in a game-high 25 points before leaving the game in the final quarter after picking up his fifth foul. Harrison College, whose only loss this season has been to the Barbados Community College, also benefited from the supportive effort of Joel Hunte who netted 18 points and played well on the defensive end.
It promised to be an exciting game from the opening whistle and both sides lived up to expectations by playing tough basketball. Harrison College got their offence rolling quickly in the first quarter with Burton and Hunte making their presence felt. Hunte has been particularly consistent for his team throughout the season. Playing at his usual guard position Burton frequently knifed his way through the key or set up his mates for baskets. He scored nine of Harrison College’s 21 points in the first quarter while Hunte was not far behind with seven points. Steven Haynes added three and Joniton Fowler two, as the hosts ended the period with a ten-point advantage. Josiah Beckles was the principal marksman for Combermere in the quarter with three points.
In the second quarter Harrison College upped their intensity on both ends of the court with Haynes in particular taking charge of the offensive effort as Combermere attempted to play smothering defence on Burton. While Combermere opted for outside shots, Burton and Haynes attacked the basket with relish and netted several
lay-ups. They scored 18 points in the quarter with Haynes accounting for nine of these. Combermere’s offensive game went to pieces in this quarter, scoring only eight points, as they were hounded by Harrison College on every possession. The hosts ended the quarter with a twenty-point advantage at 39-19.
Combermere showed a bit more industry in the third period with guard Ryvon Gittens, who had a good game, scoring ten points. However, apart from Gittens, the likes of Kadeem “Eyes” Brathwaite, Darion Hurley and company just could not get into a groove and were called for several fouls which frequently sent Harrison College to the charity stripe. Combermere actually outscored Harrison College in this quarter with 17 points to their opponents’ 12. Burton scored eight points in the quarter, four of which came from the foul line. Combermere needed to make more defensive stops than they did and although they managed to have Burton pick up his fourth foul in the quarter, Harrison College closed off the penultimate period with a comfortable 15-point cushion at 51-36.
When the final quarter commenced Combermere came out looking determined to keep their unbeaten record intact but the Harrisonians would have none of it. The quarter was marked more by the defensive plays of both teams than their offence. Christopher Holder picked up the offensive slack for Harrison College with six important points, while Burton added three before fouling out. Combermere also suffered from a few blocked shots as they attempted to attack the basket. Burton leaving the game gave Combermere a small ray of hope but Harrison College quickly snuffed that out with their defence. For all their hard work on defence, Combermere did not match the effort on offence and scored a mere four points in the final quarter –– a recipe for defeat.
Combermere will play Foundation on Monday and should they defeat the Christ Church boys and subsequently level the score with Harrison College in their second meeting they will take the number one spot. The decider for that spot will take place next week Tuesday when the two sides play again at the YMCA.
In other matches today Shaquan Carrington scored 28 points, Dominic Jervis netted 20, as Foundation thrashed The Lodge School 82-24 at Church Hill. At Husbands, St James the Barbados Community College beat Queen’s College 32-16 in a low-scoring affair.