It was no easy run on the court for Ellerslie Secondary who edged the Lester Vaughan School 32-29 this afternoon as the Co-operators General Insurance-sponsored National Sports Council’s Junior Basketball Tournament continued at Cane Garden, St Thomas today.
Hosts Lester Vaughan lost their grip in the final minutes of the game with the scores locked at 29-29 at one stage. Ellerslie dug deep and found themselves three points to pull off a victory in a game which they led at the first three quarters 7-4, 13-12 and 25-21.
Nothing can be taken away from Lester Vaughan who had a good game particularly from forward Hason Ward who ended with a game-high 19 points. Ward along with Deshawn Howell who ended with six both scored two each to give Lester Vaughan four points in the first quarter but Ellerslie guard Renico Brewster who top scored with 13 points was the one who got the ball rolling with three at the start of the encounter along with two each from Shaquille Chase who ended with six and Kenzil Fraser with five.
Ellerslie’s three-point advantage put them in a position to up their lead but Lester Vaughan were having none of it and proved strong on defense while Ward also on the defensive side of things made a few steals and earned himself six points that allowed Lester Vaughan to stop Ellerslie’s momentum and from advancing their 13-12 lead any further.
It was game on going into the penultimate quarter and Ellerslie utilized the court well at that stage and worked the ball around as Rashawn Haynes who ended with six points scored four of those in the third quarter along with four from Chase and three from Brewster. This helped the boys from Black Road, St Michael to regain their lead. Even though Ward was in on the action again for Lester Vaughan with a tally of five points in the quarter there was only so much he could have done and with very little help from his team-mates Ellerslie capitalized on Lester Vaughan’s timid defence.
In the decisive quarter Ward netted six points as Lester Vaughan ended with eight compared to Ellerslie’s seven. Despite Lester Vaughan’s resistance Ellerslie had a strategy where they played the ball forward and whenever a steal was made they would pass the ball long and high over to Brewster waiting in the back court and by the time Lester Vaughan’s defence responded the big guy was on his way to the basket, and his team to the win.