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POLYTECHNIC DISCOVERED what it feels like to lose a thriller at home. Seems par for the course in basketball’s newest rivalry. Nicholas Rouse missed two game-tying free throws before throwing away a last-second pass as Harrison College (HC) avenged an overtime loss at home via last Thursday’s 49-47 nail-biter over Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) in the United Insurance Division One Tournament at Clapham. It proved the perfect payback for an extra-time heartbreaker that left Kolij teetering with an unexpected 1-2 record less than three weeks ago. But HC has since won four of five, handing the previous league leaders their second successive loss following a hot 6-0 start to the season. That run seems like aeons ago, though, with SJPP failing to resemble the squad that looked certain to participate in the finals after rattling off a series of impressive road wins at Harrison College, Combermere and Queen’s College. Yet they had a chance to right the ship, having twice made the contest a one-possession game in the dying moments despite never holding a second-half lead. And the hosts even seemed sure of locking the scores thereafter, as Rouse earned a pair of free throws following what appeared to be a costly Runako Boyce turnover. However, Rouse let him off the hook by clanking both shots from the charity stripe, before Polytechnic further added to their woes when they subsequently missed an unmarked Alex Cumberbatch in the open floor. Still, SJPP were afforded yet one more opportunity. With the hosts all but conceding defeat, HC still managed to turn over the ball on what should have been the game’s final possession, leaving Polytechnic one second on the clock to force overtime from an in-bounds pass at half court. But Rouse botched that chance too, overshooting a wide-open Ashley Smith with a pass that sailed well out of bounds on the opposite side of the floor. Hunte finished with 13 points for Harrison College – who improved to 5-3 – while Boyce and Chioke Holder each scored 11 points. Smith led all scorers with 15 points and Rouse added 14 points for Polytechnic (6-2). At The Eyrie, defending eight-time league champs Barbados Community College got their eighth straight win in as many games following a 48-29 rout of last-placed Lodge (1-7). St Michael (2-6) got their second win of the season when they beat Foundation (1-5) 56-48 at Martindales Road.