Friday, April 12, 2024

Rain saves Cavs

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STATION HILL’S REIGN was about to come down.
The heavens just got there first.
First Works Warriors were just one fourth quarter away from sweeping basketball’s Intermediate champs Mpact Station Hill Cavs before intermittent showers brought an early conclusion to Wednesday’s Game 2 of the best-of-three finals at the YMCA.
It was about all that could save a lacklustre Cavs unit which should consider itself fortunate to be trailing by just five points (45-40) with 16 seconds remaining in the third when the rain intervened.
And this was after Station Hill were ahead for the majority of the first half and the early exchanges of the third quarter following Corey Best and Michael Marville’s opening burst.
But the champs got just ten points in that penultimate period, going scoreless over the final four minutes after surrendering a 35-32 advantage.
Those woes began with the continued free throw line struggles of Dwayne Blackman, who had his third air-ball from the charity stripe during that drought, having failed to hit the ring twice in the second period.
Blackman compounded his listless night by fouling out minutes later, before the Cavs’ woes culminated with Jade Stephens’ unsportsman-like foul on an airborne David “Ernie” Smith.
Warriors’ veteran swingman calmly sank three of the four ensuing free throws, prior to Paul Grant scoring a put-back on the next possession for a 45-40 lead.
Even when Best erupted for seven first quarter points, Station Hill were busy keeping Warriors in the contest by giving up five separate three-point plays in the opening period alone.
Terry “Bell” Pilgrim had three of those the traditional way, getting fouled whilst converting his baskets in the paint, while Smith knocked down two open looks beyond the arc.
However, Warriors still trailed up until late in the second until Randy Simmons converted a pair of lay-ups with 2:48 to play to put his side ahead 28-24.
That advantage would have been more had not for Grant turning over the ball on successive plays after Blackman’s two air-balls from the charity stripe.
The game was due to be concluded last night at the same venue.

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