Home court advantage meant nothing as Combermere defeated Queen’s College 54-43 thanks mainly to a game-high 24 points from point guard Kadeem Brathwaite, when the National Sports Council’s Division One Schools Basketball Tournament continued this afternoon at Husbands, St James.
Andrew Ifill had the second best figures of ten points for Combermere who took the first quarter 17-6. But a great effort from Queen’s College saw them to come from behind to lock the scores 23-23 at the half-time whistle. But it was the visitors who took the lead at the end of the third 35-33 and eventually went on to take the win.
Queen’s College’s point guard Makaari Jones who was the leading under-16 player last year in that division top scored with 14 points while Nykrel Wilson and Kareem Straker both ended on ten each.
Combermere with an 11 point lead needed to capitalize and expand it further but instead they allowed Queen’s College to fight their way back in the second quarter thanks to an all-round team effort led by Jones with six, Wilson five, Straker ten and Kieron Savoury two. Combermere who have one of the strongest teams in this years’ competition only managed six points. Theo Greenidge who was in the starting five and considered one of Combermere’s main weapons, suffered a hard fall and had to leave the court for a period of time.
The fact that the scores were locked 23-23 at half-time meant that the third quarter would be a pretty interesting one and that it was when Brathwaite nailed two consecutive three pointers to expand the lead to 29-23. The Combermerians progressed comfortably through other contributions –– Ifill with four points and Greenidge who signalled his return to court with a two-point lay up that allowed the Waterford lads to score 12 points in the penultimate period.
Jones was a primary target for Combermere’s defenders and even though he and Wilson put up a fight theirs was not strong enough to stop the visitors. Jones, marked mostly by Brathwaite, managed only four points in that period.
Even though the end of the third quarter saw Combermere with a mere two-point lead, they didn’t seem too bothered. Their main players would once again come to the fore. A fired-up Brathwaite notched 12 points in the fourth and decisive quarter, while Greenidge scored four of his eventual eight down the stretch. Combermere’s Jehu Lafeuillee only managed four points in the game while picking up four fouls but was a tower of strength on defence as Combermere’s depth on both sides of the court proved pivotal down the stretch.