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All Blue


by JUSTIN MARVILLE

All Blue

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DARREN HUNTE wouldn’t have known which leak was bigger – the one in the roof or his team’s second half defence.
In the end, both proved harmless.
Barbados Community College’s rookie swingman scored 27 points, as a select Blue squad survived a surreal second-half comeback before winning the United Insurance Schools’ Basketball All-Star Game in Friday’s 81-79 nail-biter against Team Yellow at the Wildey Gym.
The showcase of the tournament’s best 20 players proved the perfect remedy for an Under-19 opening ceremony that was quickly losing its lustre over the years.
But a hole in the gym’s ceiling almost cost the organisers their prized exhibition, as a pool of water quickly gathered at the top of one of the three-point arcs.
Thankfully, fan interest was diverted by an organised two-man shooting event while the problem was being fixed.
Team Blue only needed one man to solve their leak.
Hunte returned late in the contest to score five quick points as part of his team’s decisive 9-5 finish to the game after the Blue squad squandered all of a 26-point half-time lead.
It was in an effort to make the exhibition contest more appealing as Team Blue turned the game into a snoozer when they ran out to a 46-20 advantage.
However, they stepped off the gas a little too much, watching the Yellow squad eventually take the lead (74-72) with three minutes to play on the last of Antonio Sealy’s 23 points.
Queen’s College’s dynamic centre also initiated the rally, hooking up with forwards Jae Harris and Nicholas Rouse while Yellow started half with six unanswered points as part of 23-8 run that got them within 11 (54-43).
But Jamario Clarke seemingly ended the rally with a monster two-handed flush in transition. Then Hunte followed with a brief flurry prior to Darian Chandler’s buzzer-beating layup that put Blue up 64-49 heading into the fourth.
Yellow weren’t done yet though.
Sealy and Harris dominated the paint again, with Rouse and Chiamaka Browne proving the perfect foils in the open floor while Yellow locked the game at 70 with four minutes remaining.
Justin Maloney briefly restored Blue’s advantage, only for Browne to follow with a nifty over-the-shoulder tossup in the key, before Sealy’s short jumper gave Yellow their first lead of the game (74-72).
It was also their last.
Hunte swiftly put an end to any drama the rally provided, scoring a reverse lay-up and a trey to sandwich a Jerome Small basket as Blue pulled ahead 79-76 inside the final minute.
The game might have provided one more twist had not for Antoine Morris missing an uncontested lay-up, which rendered Alejandro Boxhill’s buzzer-beating triple a mere crowd-pleasing spectacle.
Clarke and Lamar Grazette both assisted Hunte with ten points each, while Harris and Rouse also finished with ten apiece for the Yellow squad.
Earlier, Akeem Smith hit a similar shot from behind the arc at the horn as Polytechnic edged St Lucy by three points to win the Two-Man Shooting Competition.
Smith’s last second shot – worth five points – gave he and Kevin Daniel an unlikely victory in the final against the more renowned duos from St Lucy (Clarke, Small), Combermere (Browne, Tionne Bostic) and Harrison College (Chandler, Anand Joseph-Thorne).

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