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Foundation capture U-16 glory

Mike King

Foundation capture U-16 glory

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Never?prepared to say die, Christ Church Foundation made a dramatic last quarter surge to knock off St Leonard’s Boys (SLB) to seize Schools Under-16 basketball glory at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, yesterday.
Outplayed for most of the third quarter when SLB led by as much as ten points at one stage (48-38), Foundation kept their nerve and composure down the final nerve-jangling last stretch to win the Cooperators General Insurance sponsored competition  57-54 in a topsy-turvy final.
Foundation fans screamed themselves hoarse in the last five minutes as their team, spearheaded by 15-year-old shooting guard Akeem Marshall, made a series of fine fast break plays to which a shell-shocked St Leonard’s Boys had no answer. He had a game high 31 points, 15 in the first quarter.
St Leonard’s scored just one point in the last five minutes, a basket from the free throw line, as their outside shooting which was spot on in the second and third periods, fell down.
Marshall, who was later voted the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), said that their heart and ability to play under pressure made the difference.
 “We have got  a lot of heart and came together even when we were down. At one stage, I thought we were beaten but the boys decided they weren’t going down without a fight. I thank SLB?for the game, but we came up tough and they didn’t.”
St Leonard’s best player, point guard Antone Lawrence, who hit the game’s first three-pointer, said his team were let down by their defence and rebounding.
For most of the third quarter, fans of the Richmond Gap based team were shouting ‘SLB, SLB’, as Lawrence controlled the offencewith some slick passes and some impressive outside shooting. Lawrence stepped up his game with another key player, Brian Neverson, sitting out the entire third quarter, after picking up his fourth foul in the  second period.
Barbados’ most decorated rider, former world-class cyclist Barry Forde, a product of Foundation, was on hand for the first two compelling quarters when little separated the two teams.
Foundation led 18-17 at the end of the first quarter and though St Leonard’s Boys kept Marshall out of the game to such an extent that he managed just three points in the second quarter, the scores were deadlocked at 32-32 at the half-time break.
The momentum was with St Leonard’s in the third quarter with playmaker Lawrence supported by Tristan Whittaker, keeping them ahead most of the way until just before the close of this period when Foundation went on a 7-0 run.
Lawrence, who finished with 22 points, hit a three -pointer to make it 53-47 but once again, resilient Foundation, stormed back this time for good with their big men getting in some telling blocks and Marshall at the other end, grabbing and converting almost everything under the basket.

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