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Warriors take lead


Justin Marville

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BACK-TO-BACK TITLES?
MPact Station Hill Cavs should worry about avoiding back-to-back losses first.
Randy Simmons scored 11 fourth quarter points, including the eventual game-winning triple, as First Works Warriors took a 1-0 lead in basketball’s best-of-three Intermediate finals against the champion Cavs following Saturday’s 62-60 nail-biter at the YMCA.
The win now puts the Dayrells Road club just one victory away from dethroning Station Hill and within sight of their first second division title since last winning the league crown 15 years ago.
But that Game 1 triumph didn’t come without its share of tense moments, none more taxing than the two separate outbursts Warriors had to survive from the evergreen Michael “Nat” Marville.
Having overcome Steve Grenville’s nine-point third quarter, the diminutive Simmons scored seven quick points early in the fourth while Warriors turned an eight-point deficit (45-37) into a 57-52 lead with just 2:30 to play.
Simmons started that rally with a transition lay-up and a three-pointer on successive possessions, and then Ryan Lucas followed with consecutive baskets before assisting Simmons on another open floor lay-up.
But Marville ended the run, and Warriors’ brief lead, by scoring six points in succession – hitting four straight free throws and a subsequent jumper to put his side ahead 58-57 with 49 seconds remaining.
However, the veteran Cavs forward fouled out on the very next possession while defending a David “Ernie” Smith drive, before Simmons followed Smith’s free throw with a huge trey inside the final minute.
Simmons actually left the door open by splitting free throws seconds after Grenville responded with a catlike, driving lay-up. Without a time-out, though, Station Hill were forced to drive the length of the floor prior to Grenville hoisting an errant three-pointer at the buzzer.
Earlier, Marville had eight of the Cavs’ first ten points while Station Hill opened the contest on an 8-0 run against a flat Warriors unit.
Warriors led by as many as nine in the second (24-15) until reserve swingman Kevin Robinson and Dwayne Blackman marshalled a subsequent comeback, which Grenville culminated with his third quarter flurry.
Lucas finished with a game-high 17 points, while Simmons and Smith added 14 and 11 points for Warriors, who can close out the series tonight at the YMCA. Grenville led Station Hill in scoring with 15, while Marville ended with 14 points.

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