By Morissa Lindsay
It is safe to say the Co-operators General Insurance Barbados Amateur Basketball Association Club Challenge competition is beginning to heat up as Pinelands A registered a hard fought 98-88 victory over Station Hill Cavaliers last night at the Barbados Community College.
In what was a super performance by point guard Rasheed Maynard with a game high 35 points, Pinelands A consistently led 31-15, 53-41 and 74-58 in the first three stanzas as Cavaliers did just about enough to contain the Pinelands squad to below a hundred points. Also scoring in double digits for Pinelands on the night were Deroni Hurley with 22 points, Deveron Knight tallied 18 and Junior Moore added ten as the match got off to an intense start.
Cavaliers were first to secure possession at the tip-off but failed to capitalize as they trailed by three points (7-4) in quick time. They managed to level the scores 7-7 thanks to Joel Hunte scoring the basket and one which went towards his total of 25 points in the game. The other contributors on the score sheet for Cavaliers were Zachary Cave who accounted for 18 points, Darren Hunte netted 15 and Saeed Norville scored 14.
However, the night belonged to Pinelands as Hurley came up huge with a shot from beyond the three-point arc that extended the lead 10-7 to Pinelands. Cavaliers tied it once more 10-10 when Zachary Cave accounted for the layup and one on the ensuing foul.
The game from there got more physical as Pinelands scored five points straight and further extended the lead thanks to yet another three pointer, this time compliments Derion Hurley, the older brother of Deroni. Then Knight with his height and athleticism passed to Rasheed Maynard inside the paint for a comfortable layup.
That was the turning point as Pinelands found an escape and got away from Cavaliers to go up 20-12 with under three minutes to play in the opening half. The pace intensified as both teams hustled for possession and Cavaliers coach Adrian Craigwell was busy on the sideline giving out instructions. His troops needed to tidy up on their passing and finishing as they conceded way too many costly turnovers. Pinelands are at the level where they will make you pay for those sort of errors.
Pinelands were in control of the game at this stage 31-16 and their coach Renaldo Maughn was very much at ease with proceedings and how his players were handling business.
A prescription was definitely needed for Cavaliers and whatever coach Craigwell administered at the beginning of the second quarter, it worked because they came out shooting well, especially Darren Hunte with three consecutive threes as they managed to bring themselves back into the contest (34-31).
Junior Moore, who is very experienced in the Pinelands setup, was booked for what was an intentional foul on Cavaliers guard Stephan Ottley. There were a number of fouls in the match which did not come much as a shock given how hard both teams pressed on defence. That energy forced coach Maughn to call timeout, three minutes into the second quarter as Cavaliers up their standard and began playing well. Well, that was until Pinelands found a response and did their best on defence to stop Cavaliers and then took control of the game once more.
Just when one thought the tension could not get any more charged, Cavaliers point guard Ottley and Pinelands’ Renico Brewster had to be quickly separated by the match referees Jarad Grant and Richard Spencer and some of the players who intervened before the situation got out of hand.
At that stage the score was 46-39 to Pinelands with a minute and 48 seconds to play before halftime. Down going into the second half, it was back to the drawing board for the Cavaliers as they needed to rediscover that same passion they had at the beginning of the second quarter and put it into the third.
They did just that once again to cut that ten-point deficit significantly and just when it seemed they were going to give Pinelands a run for their money they allowed it to slip away once more. Knight returned to the court after being taken off to rest before halftime and he along with Moore handled business on defence for Pinelands. As the match progressed Pinelands began to score in quick succession with their lead mushrooming to16 points.
At this stage Pinelands asserted themselves with the advantage 74-58 at the end of the third quarter. They even added more fire power to the offence with the inclusion of Jeremy ‘Bull’ Gill who was brought on midway through the third quarter.
The fact that the Cavaliers chose to play zone defence clearly was not a good idea either because Pinelands were equal to the task of securing possession and going hard at the basket.
It was a bitter pill for Cavaliers to swallow but Pinelands up 95-81 neared a hundred when Deroni nailed his fourth three pointer of the match and Maynard with a monstrous dunk put them in close range needing just two points to reach a hundred.
As the clock winded down with little time to spare, Cavaliers did the job to ensure Pinelands did not score that hundred they so badly wanted. [email protected]