Ellerslie prevail

Grudge match goes down to the wire

The contest lived up to the pre-match hype.

Ellerslie and Graydon Sealy are two of the stronger teams competing in Division two of the Massy United Secondary Schools Basketball Tournament and this evening Ellerslie’s four-point triumph, 57-53, at their Black Rock, St. Michael home court was indicative of the thrilling contest between the two sides.

With their reliable weapons Andrew Ifill and Shaquan Newton continuing from where they left off last year, Graydon Sealy actually dominated the early exchanges. Ifill was excellent in penetrating Ellerslie’s defence off the dribble and also scored a few jump shots. Ellerslie simply could not get their offensive game going and to add to their early troubles, they also struggled on the defensive end. By the end of the first quarter Graydon Sealy had a comfortable 25-11 advantage.

Graydon Sealy guard Andrew Ifill (with ball)  making a move towards the basket.
Graydon Sealy guard Andrew Ifill (with ball) making a move towards the basket.

Whatever pep talk followed during the break seemed to stoke a fire under the Black Rock, St. Michael school as they came out with greater purpose. They played better on offence but it was on defence that they really caught the eye. Ellerslie challenged every possession which often led to turn-overs and resulting points. Ellerslie limited Graydon Sealy to four second-quarter points while responding with 17 to take a one-point deficit, 29-28, into the half-time break.

Leading Ellerslie’s charge was forward Jehu Lafeuille who eventually ended with a game-high 27 points. He often scored timely baskets whenever Graydon Sealy threatened a run, and also made his presence felt on the defensive end. His main support came from the consistent Raphael Brathwaite who chipped in with 12 points.

Ellerslie's dynamic Jehu Lafeuille blocks a shot.
Ellerslie’s dynamic Jehu Lafeuille blocks a shot.

Ellerslie’s charge got more momentum in the third quarter with defence being at the core of their efforts. And as always occurs, good defence frequently leads to offensive opportunities and this held true for Ellerslie. They ended the third-quarter with a 41-36 advantage.

The final and decisive quarter was a heated affair with Graydon Sealy’s coach Sean Jones picking up two technical calls coming on to the last two minutes of play. This did no favours for Graydon Sealy in such a close game.

Ifill top-scored for Graydon Sealy with 18 points while Newton netted 13.

In another division two match today, Frederick Smith had an easy time on the court against Deighton Griffith Secondary whom they defeated 54-23. Top-scoring for Frederick Smith was Ashton Corbin with15 points, while Khamal Boyce had 13 and Delan Willie 11. Jaedon Walton tallied 11 points to lead Deighton Griffith.

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