Reigning champions Harrison College and Combermere will battle it out for supremacy when the two Division one powerhouses meet in the final of the Massy United Insurance-sponsored National Sports Council’s Schools Basketball Competition.This afternoon at the Barbados Community College’s indoor auditorium, Harrison College led by their top shooting guard Nikolai Burton with a game-high 34 points defeated Christ Church Foundation 76-62 to book their place.
They led at the end of the first three quarters 13-10, 33-31 and 51-43.In the second semi-final Combermere also played impressively and had a comfortable 79-57 victory over their hosts BCC who were down after the first three quarters 26-12, 42-25 and 64-44. Forward Jehu Lafeuillee ended with 28 points, Kadeem Brathwaite had 23 while Andrew Ifill added 13 and Theo Greenidge, 11.
The first semi-final encounter between Harrison College and Foundation was nothing short of excitement with the likes of Burton who was named most valuable player for Young Men’s Christian Association Wildcats in the just concluded under-19 Barbados Amateur Basketball Association competition. He had the BCC’s gym fired up with some spectacular plays that had spectators at the edge of their seats.
Joel Hunte, another top player, played a major role in his team’s success and contributed ten points along with Christopher Holder and Christian Holder who also contributed 10 each.Khamal Boyce netted 16 for Foundation while Kalvin Marcus had 14, Shaquan Carrington 11 and Dominic Jervis ten. Foundation allowed Burton too much breathing space and he made them pay especially in the second quarter when he scored 11 points and then went for 10 more in the fourth.
Harrison College had several steals in the game and most of them came through Hunte and Burton who used that to their advantage and made the most of them. The lads from Church Hill hardly had any response and when they did they never built any consistent offensive or defensive momentum.In the other semi-final showdown Combermere had a 13-point lead heading into the second quarter and even though BCC’s main man Hurley and company did well enough to take their side who were down 16-28 on to 20 with respective twos from Ja-rad Hunte and Karlos Greenidge, they could not stop the swarming offensive plays from Combermere who also produced a solid defensive effort.
They harassed BCC so effectively on the defensive end that their hosts were only able to score 13 points in the second quarter.Once the boys from Waterford found an opening in the BCC’s defence they just went for the kill, especially Lafeuillee, who netted two to carry his side on to 30 points and from this juncture Combermere simply had their way on the offensive side.
They were ahead by 16 points with fewer than four minutes to play in the quarter when Greenidge and Lafeuillee moved Combermere to 42 points. With 23 seconds to go Grant had to leave the court after an injury to his left arm sustained when he collided with Lafeuillee and fell hard to the ground. Combermere went into the half- time break with a 17-point lead.Greenidge was really feeling the groove when he opened the penultimate quarter with a three pointer.
BCC reached the 31-point mark thanks to Karlos Brathwaite and Hurley but Combermere continued to maintain major daylight between the sides at 47-31. Then Kadeem Brathwaite and Lafeuillee took Combermere on to 53 points with excellent individual efforts to the basket.With under seven minutes to go Grant returned to the court from injury but did not make much of an impact. Hurley scored 13 points in that quarter and did all that he could to get past Combermere’s defenders who did not make life easy for him.
The fourth quarter was the same sorry story for the BCC as the first three. Combermere continued where they left off and Lafeuillee proved unstoppable with 13 points in the period to put the game completely beyond the BCC.A date for the final is to be confirmed.