Warrens Sports Club Seniors registered a thrilling one-point victory, 93-92, over Executive Air Dover when game one of the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s Division One semi-final was contested last night.
What made the best of three battle even more special was the fact that Warrens came from being down over three quarters to stun Dover who were in the driver’s seat 29-28, 56-48 and 77-70 before they lost their way at the Young Men’s Christian Association hard court at Pinfold Street, St Michael.
It was perhaps one of the most intriguing matches played for the season with Warrens being the team to beat and none of their opponents being successful in doing so thus far.
In what was a relatively high-scoring encounter, shooting guard Zahir Motara led the way with 25 points, power forward Pearson Griffith had 21, Peter Alleyne notched 18 and Kevin Austin chipped in with 15 for Warrens who were down by one point at the end of the first quarter but took the lead 32-29 when the second period began. But that lasted only so long as Dover began to free their arms easily on the offensive end. The message to Warrens was that they too had top shooters at their disposal.
Scoring for Dover were Godfrey Leacock and Seon Hillman with 21 points each, Dyson Gill had 19 and Jason Bowen 10. It seemed Dover’s shooters had licence to pull the trigger as they had several three-point attempts which were bang on target. In fact, Dover scored 11 three pointers in the game compared to five by Warrens with Motara making four of those deep baskets.
The scores were 52-44 to Dover with just a minute to go before half time when Warrens called time-out but on resumption the men from Christ Church still continued to hold their own with six points between Hillman and Bowen to finish the half on a good note for the men in yellow who had a lead of eight points.
Three minutes into the third quarter Griffith with one of his baby hooks took Warrens on to 50-56 but Dover continued to apply pressure and tried their best to ensure Motara and Alleyne were kept quiet but that was a tough task as the two former national players utilized the spaces offered to get through or around Dover defence. The score read 77-64 to Dover when Motara drove to the basket for two and the foul which he put away, followed by Beckles with a free throw and just seconds before the quarter ended Alleyne nailed two free throws to cut the deficit by seven heading into the fourth and decisive quarter.
Warrens seemed more determined than ever to deny Dover the win and that they did perhaps surprisingly to many having been put on the backfoot for most of the game. They eventually went ahead 93-91 with under a minute to play when Leacock made one of two free throws with seconds on the board. But that did not make a difference because Warrens had things under control even though their star shooter Motara picked up an unfortunate injury late in the last quarter.