Combermere made an emphatic statement yesterday when they defeated table-topping Barbados Community College 59-46 before their vociferous home support at Waterford, as action continued in the United Insurance-sponsored National Sports Council’s Senior Schools Basketball Competition.
With the play-offs just over a week away arguably the most potent pairing in schools’ basketball, Jimal Singh and Jamario Clarke, led a calculated assault on the Eyrie institution and in the process dealt them their first loss of the tournament.
With their supporters providing the ideal “sixth-man” and fuelling their adrenalin, Combermere challenged every BCC possession, played strong, stifling defence and crashed the boards to deny the visitors second opportunities on their offensive end.
The usually dangerous Stephan Ottley and Orion Seale who have tormented other line-ups during the tournament had games to forget as their offence never really clicked.†Conversely the imposing figure of Clarke was ever-present on both ends of the court and he dropped 18 points on the visitors while Singh had 17. Combermere’ defence had limited BCC to 19 first-half points, an abysmal offensive effort from which they would never recover. The hosts led 34-19 at the break.
If Combermere wanted a confidence boost before the play-offs, they got it in large measure.At Clapham, Queen’s College also got in on the giant-killing act when they exposed chinks in the armour of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic while defeating them 70-63.†The SJPP team who are slated to meet Combermere in the semi-finals were perhaps a tad complacent and paid for it. The Husbands, St. James school got a victory sniff after ending the first half leading 41-29. On resumption, they gave SJPP no respite although the latter occasionally threatened to come roaring back.
Alejandro Boxill with 23 points was inspirational. And he had to be, as Nicholas Rouse threatened to carry the SJPP to victory on his talented shoulders. Rouse had a game-high 25 points but in the end Queen’s College got more bench support than he did and that was enough to earn the un-fancied Queen’s College the win. Ashley Smith and Denzil Bovell got 15 and 13 points respectively for SJPP while Jerome Stuart with 14 points and Kirkley Carter helped out Boxill on the offensive end for Queen’s College.
At Church Hill, The Lodge School had a thrilling one-point win over Foundation, 52-51. At regulation time the scores were locked on 45 and they had to be separated in overtime. The result was a heartbreaker for Foundation who led 28-21 at the break but could not withstand the pressure which The Lodge School exerted in the second period.†The two teams basically exchanged baskets over the last minutes of the game and it became a case of who would hold their nerves best at crunch time. Foundation didn’t.†They had a monster game from Akeem Marshall who had a game-high 27 points but still lost. Nicanar Maughan had 14 points and Tramaine Shorey scored 20 for The Lodge School.
At Martindale’s Road, Harrison College defeated hosts The St. Michael School 59-44 with Anand Joseph Thorne netting 20 points and Darian Chandler, 15. Cameron Blackman and Derion Hurley had 14 and 12 points respectively for The St. Michael School.