Narrow victory

Graydon Sealy defeat Ellerslie in close game

Graydon Sealy Secondary shooting guard Shaquan Newton was a huge offensive force when he netted a game-high 30 points to lead his school to a 58-52 win over Ellerslie at Paddock Road yesterday evening in the Massy United Insurance sponsored-National Sports Council’s Division Two Basketball Tournament.

The encounter was a keenly contested one with regular momentum swings. At one stage the scores were tied 11-11 but Graydon Sealy went ahead 24-13 in the second quarter. Then Ellerslie steadied themselves and locked the scores 34-34. However, down the stretch Newton and his men prevailed to take the narrow win.

Shaquan Newton shoots for two as Akeil Straker of Ellerslie tries to defend. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)
Shaquan Newton shoots for two as Akeil Straker of Ellerslie tries to defend. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

The game provided a bit of a revenge for defending champions Graydon Sealy who played Ellerslie a couple days ago and were beaten badly 66-22.

That was not the case yesterday as Newton who was the most valuable player in the finals last year opened the game with nine points along with two from Chemar Steele who ended with 16 in the game.

Chemar Steele (red sneakers) comes up with a big block against  Ellerslie.
Chemar Steele (red sneakers) comes up with a big block against Ellerslie.

Ellerslie got a collective effort at the start from players like Akeil Straker with three of his 22 and two from Delano Watson who finished the game with 12 points.

Graydon Sealy pressed themselves hard in the second quarter and managed to put pressure on Ellerslie’s defence for those vital rebounds that went the way of Newton, Xavier Gittens and the big guy Ahmal Smith who at times did not make much of an impression on the opponents’ defence. They each scored four points while Steele had two in the period. Ellerslie found it difficult to make any contact with the ball with Straker being the only player to score in the period with two points.

The hosts were up by 12 points, 25-13, heading into the penultimate period and Ellerslie needed an answer from somewhere and their point guard Straker delivered when he led the attack with 13 of his side’s 21 points in the third quarter. Smith was not on his A game and Graydon Sealy’s defence was all over the place. This allowed Ellerslie enough free space to pass to Straker who on many occasions had adequate room to shoot uncontested.

Newton accounted for five of Graydon Sealy’s nine points during this sequence but still had a rough time in the quarter. He received several bruises about his body after being fouled by Ellerslie’s defenders who showed they meant business, especially their number five Kimiah Spence who got a technical when he floored Newton and bruised his shoulders.

The decisive quarter shaped up to be an interesting one and with the scores locked 34-34 it was anybody’s game. Watson opened with two of his eight in the fourth quarter for Ellerslie while Straker and Akeem Brathwaite had four points each. Newton scored 16 points in the quarter and Steele 12, inclusive of two three-pointers.

With the scores at 55-52 with fewer than 12 seconds to play, Ellerslie allowed Newton the space to take and bury a three-pointer that settled the encounter.

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