Sep 07, 2015 Sports
Pacesetters blowout Royals in Georgetown clean sweep
By Edison Jefford
Except for the unnecessary delays owed to irate patrons storming the court to accost the referees and bottles thrown on the court, as predicted, Guyana’s Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Forbes Burnham Memorial Final was laced with quality.
In the end, Colts braved the hostile environment at a packed Mackenzie Sports Club Hard Court in Linden Saturday night to tame Half Mile Bulls 63-59, winning its second title in five weeks with a gutsy performance against an entire community.
Bulls had galloped to an 11-2 lead in the first period with guard/forward, Terron Welch finishing back-to-back layups. Welch entered this game after disposing of national champions, Pacesetters, with a mammoth 35 points at the Sports Hall last week.
Forward, Travin Dryden finished a put-back for Bulls, but consecutive fast-break plays for Colts helped them gain some momentum. Michael Turner’s up-and-under through the paint wowed the crowd and a jumper from Welch helped close out the period 21-10 for Bulls.
The opening period clearly belonged to the home team, Bulls, as defensive lapses from Colts set them back early. However, Colts opened the second period on an 8-2 run, which continued to the point of the visitors heading into the halftime break with a lead.
It was the beginning of the taming of Bulls. Thomas finished at the rim to cut the lead to 20-25 as Causway completed a layup and veteran Colt, Troy Green banged one off the glass to tie the game at 29-29 before Causway finished off a steal to give the Georgetown-based Colts a 31-29 lead a minute before halftime.
The sudden overhaul of Bulls’ advantage silenced the crowd at the MSC Court, and angered the ignorant, who somehow blamed the referees, despite the composition of three on-court officials including the internationally certified, Sherwin Henry, who is from Linden.
Colts went into the halftime break leading 37-31 after outscoring Bulls 27-10 in the period. The surge from Colts continued in the penultimate quarter with them taking a 48-36 points lead with improved defence and ball-rotation as Bulls offensive struggle continued.
Thomas completed a layup to close the third period 54-40 in favour of Colts, who continued its up-tempo basketball in the fourth quarter to go up 58-40 with Thomas and Causway running ball. The game seemed headed for a blowout until Turner got into the act for Bulls.
The former Pacesetter, now back with Bulls, finished a penetration that triggered Bulls’ rush on the offensive end. Kevin Easton nailed a three-pointer to haul them within four points, 56-60 with three minutes to play in regulation time.
Dryden then finished a layup to bring Bulls within two, 58-60, with just over a minute to play before a referee call forced irate patrons onto the court. In clearly their best quarter of the game, the team from the western half of the Demerara River that flows through Linden outscored Colts 18-6 in a bid to secure their first major GABF title until their own fans quelled their momentum.
The long break that followed after the raucous with still 1:16 left on the game clock certainly got the better of Bulls as Colts used their crunch-time experience when the game was restarted, after extended discussions, to come away with the win.
In the final analysis, Thomas poured in 29 points with four rebounds and Causway 14 and four rebounds. Nicko Fraser had eight points for Colts, which had pockets of small contributions from the entire team.
For Bulls, Dryden missed a triple-double scoring 16 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Welch had a double-double with 13 and 10 rebounds. Turner finished with 10 points while Easton added eight points and seven rebounds.
Pacesetters blew out Victory Valley Royals 84-59 to win the third place prize that set up a clean sweep for Georgetown-based teams.
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