Saturday, April 20, 2024

Tridents do the double


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SO STATION HILL can lose overtime games after all.Title contests at that.Mark Bridgeman had a Premier League career-best 28 points as the upstart Sagicor Tridents added basketball’s Champion of Champions title to their knockout crown after Saturday’s 92-88 extra-time decision over league champs Mpact Cavaliers at the Barbados Community College.Irony couldn’t prove more cruel for the Cavs, whose epic league championship came on the basis of three last-second victories – two of which went into overtime.And the most recent of those occurred only two nights previous at the same venue with the exact score-line.But the Kelvin Patterson-less Cavs were probably grateful just to have forced the extra period, considering Tridents’ prior 15-point fourth-quarter lead (70-55) and the subsequent 77-67 advantage they held with 4:10 to play.The schoolboys managed to squander that, turning over the ball three straight times and wasting five ensuing possessions to go scoreless for four minutes while giving up ten unanswered points.Tridents were fortunate not to have surrendered a Station Hill advantage, as the Cavs had two separate opportunities to take the lead inside the final 30 seconds.Daniel Lovell gave Kevin Sealy’s potential go-ahead lay-up the LeBron James treatment, emphatically blocking it from behind before Corey Williams also split what would have been the game-winning free throws.They proved significant let-offs for Lovell, who missed one of two at the line to put his side up 78-77 with 16 seconds remaining, prior to needlessly fouling Williams on the very next play.However, the schoolboys weren’t about learning from previous mistakes, squandering yet another crucial advantage (87-82) late in the extra period on the heels of two needless turnovers.Those didn’t prove costly though, as Andre Holder broke an 88-all deadlock on a short jump hook with 16 seconds left, before successive Cavs turnovers led to Akeem “Supa” Williams’ decisive free-throws.It was the thrilling finish to a game that nearly matched the drama of last week’s epic Lakers-Cavs finals.There wasn’t the standing room only crowd, but spectators were constantly on their feet nonetheless following a first-half that featured six rim-rattling dunks.They began with Marlon Bascombe’s throw-down in transition, before the Cavs’ swingman got set-up by Williams’ behind-the-back pass which led to him getting dunked on by Lovell.The gesture was soon repaid to Lovell’s teammate Aamir Morris, after Ricardo Yearwood emphatically finished over the top of the gangly six-foot-six forward.Lost in the melee was Bridgeman’s 11-point first quarter, fashioned on a perfect four of four shooting from the field, inclusive of three treys.Lovell finished with 17 points and Dario Cumberbatch added 11 in the victory, while Junior Moore topscored for the Cavs with 17.


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