THEIR TITLE-CONTENDING SQUAD hasn’t changed from last season. Unfortunately, neither have Combermere’s fortunes against the champs. Kelan Phillips scored 25 points, including eight in a decisive 18-9 fourth-quarter run, as reigning kings Barbados Community College (BCC) survived Lamar Grazette’s early foul trouble before coasting to Tuesday’s 83-67 home victory over “Cawmere” in the United Insurance Schools’ Basketball Tournament. It was the fifth win in as many games for the eight-time league champs, who were awaiting their first real challenge of the season against a team expected to win it all. Looks like Combermere have issues living up to expectations. Like last year’s league final and the other two 2011 match-ups, BCC were hardly pushed after scoring 11 of the game’s first 13 points while leading by as many as 18 (53-35) within the first three minutes of the third quarter. And all this while Grazette – the squad’s only real big man – picked up three quick fouls in the first quarter before being whistled for a fourth moments before the half-time break. But what really broke was Cawmere’s will. When Phillips wasn’t in the open court scoring easy transition baskets, it was Stephan Ottley breaking down Jimal Singh off the dribble to create lay-up opportunities for himself and other teammates. The visitors didn’t do themselves any favours either, with Lamarr Coward, Joshua Cadogan and Jamario Clarke all blowing lay-ups to compound their turnover woes. However, they did threaten on a couple of occasions, having reduced a 39-25 deficit to single digits (39-30) late in the second quarter before going on an 11-4 rally to pull within nine (57-48) midway through the ensuing period. The latter came as part of a surreal nine-point effort from Clarke, who in one particular sequence scored a lay-up, stole the subsequent inbound pass and then converted it into an “and-one” play all in a matter of seconds. But Orion Seale and Ottley hit huge three-pointers on either side of the whistle, and Clarke fouled out on a charging call three minutes into the fourth quarter to spell doom for the visitors. Almost like clockwork, BCC scored four unanswered points to start the fourth before Phillips duly capped an 18-9 run with a strong “and-one” play under the basket (81-62). Ottley finished with 15 points, Seale added 14 while Grazette chipped in with seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. For Combermere, who dropped to 2-2, Clarke led all scorers with 26 points and Singh had 17. At Husbands, St James, Ashley Smith had a game-high 17 points as Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic also remained unbeaten after edging Queen’s College in a 43-42 thriller on the road. Nicholas Rouse added 14 points for Polytechnic’s fourth straight win while Alejandro Boxhill led the hosts, who fell to 1-3, with 15 points. At Society, St John, home side Lodge (1-4) survived Akeem Marshall’s 26-point outburst to hold on for a stunning 45-44 win against Foundation (1-2), while Harrison College (2-3) cruised to a 66-15 rout of St Michael (1-3) at home.