Wins four of seven finals contested to-date
By Edison Jefford
When it comes to the well-established Victory Valley Royals Schools Basketball Championship, Mackenzie High School (MHS) believes that it is a dynasty, and why not? After winning in four of the seven-year history of the tournament, the school has all right to believe it is an empire in a basketball-playing community.
For the record, MHS won its fourth title in the tournament last evening after their 57-50 triumph over Linden’s Technical Institute (LTI) in the final. As a result of their dominance in the contest, the school was awarded a special League trophy in addition to the Championship trophy.
Parish Cadogan, who brought his team back into the game after LTI had gone on the offensive in middle of the second half, scored 26 points with support from the eventual Most Valuable Player (MVP), Dwight McKinnon, who finished with 15 points and 20 rebounds.
Cadogan swung the momentum back in MHS favour after he threw down a ‘big’ dunk to haul his school to within one point (40-41) of LTI, who had gone on an earlier second-half run. It seemed the right pivot for a team that was looking out of sorts against some tidy mixed-zone defence that LTI implemented in the last half.
Feeding off of Cadogan, McKinnon finished a baseline lay-up before completing a front-rim lay-up to help MHS to a 48-45 lead. Cadogan scored the next five points including a three-point shot that pulled MHS away 53-45 with less than two minutes to play.
In crunch time, big players usually step up, and that is what MHS got from Cadogan and his new offensive and defensive sidekick, McKinnon. For all its worth, LTI would be disappointed to not close the door on MHS when its lead-guard, Marlon Pollydore was red-hot.
Pollydore even gave Mackenzie High a late scare down the bottom when he finished five straight points including a three-point jumper in the last minute of the game. Former national junior point guard, Pollydore was the main reason LTI went up 21-20 at the halftime break.
He continued his prolific scoring early in the second half with help from Joel Webster, which got LTI to a 31-22 lead early in the second half. However, an offensive meltdown, owed in principle to poor scoring attempts and turnovers, gift wrapped a come-back for MHS in the game.
Pollydore finished with 22 points but took home the lions-share of individual awards, including a Leading Scorers’ Award for his 108 points in the tournament and a Most Assists Award. In terms of the final, Geoffrey LaRose scored 14 points for the Technical Institute.
Both teams booked a place in the National Schools’ Basketball Festival (NSBF), which officially gets started tomorrow with an Opening Ceremony at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The contest will decide the top basketball-playing school in the country.
In the third place game yesterday in Linden, New Silver-City Secondary defeated Christianburg/ Wismar Multilateral 38-32 to close the top three seeding for school teams in the Town. Linnell Warden had 10 points for New Silver-City while Travin Dryden scored seven for Christianburg.
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