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Jackson send cougars reeling


Justin Marville

Jackson send cougars reeling

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TWO MORE NIGHTS are all that might be left of Cougars’ stay in basketball’s Premier League.
Javid Beckles added yet another nail in Nicholls Baking Company Cougars demotion coffin, scoring 11 of his game-high 22 points during a breakaway 23-6 third-quarter run, as British American Insurance Jackson maintained their grip on the last play-off berth after Sunday’s 81-62 rout at the Wildey Gym.
It was Cougars’ ninth defeat in their last ten games, ensuring the Hothersal men (4-14) remained firmly in control of the league’s dreaded demotion spot by keeping them one game behind ninth-placed Patriots (4-12) with two games remaining.
This was after Patriots had given them a glimmer of hope just ten minutes prior to the start of this latest loss, having dropped the preceding game to post-season long shots St John’s (8-8).
But Cougars never had the look of a side fighting for its Premier League life, not after falling behind by as many as 29 points (67-38) following a 20-minute stretch where they were outscored a mammoth 43-12.
And that came after Adrian Stewart, Godfrey Leacock and Kirk Holder had actually engineered an encouraging 23-18 first-quarter lead in a free-flowing opening period.
However, Cougars added just a further six points in the ensuing second, as Peter Alleyne outscored them by himself to give Jackson the lead for good via a 20-6 rally (38-29).
The run was far from finished though, with Beckles taking over from where his backcourt mate left off while Cougars duplicated their six-point second-quarter showing during a further 23-6 Jackson surge (61-35).
Alleyne finished with 21 points for Jackson (11-5), who preserved their lead over defending champion Cavaliers (10-6) for the fourth and final postseason berth. Stewart led all scorers with 31 as the lone Cougars player in double digits.
Earlier, Gary Miller had 26 points and 17 rebounds as Pinelands kept their slim play-off hopes alive after surviving a telling fourth-quarter rally in their last-second 66-63 win over the relegation-exempt Co-operators General Tridents.
Ramon Simmons added 22 points for the Pine (8-7), who remained two-and-a-half games behind Jackson for fourth place with five games left.
Reigning MVP Akeem Marsh had 13 points and 15 rebounds to keep Roll-A-Way St John’s Sonics (8-8) mathematically in postseason contention as well, following a 68-50 drubbing of Patriots.
 

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