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Lakers back in play-offs

Justin Marville

Lakers back in play-offs

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Welcome back Kelvin Patterson.
Sure looks like Lumber Company Lakers were glad to see you return.
Basketball’s Premier League leaders are back in the play-offs, but they might have just done so at their rivals’ expense, after marking Patterson’s anticipated return to Mpact Station Hill Cavaliers’ line-up with a resounding 84-57 rout of the defending champs on Sunday at the Wildey Gymnasium.
The win was Lakers’ eighth in as many games, ensuring the Husbands men (14-4) of a seventh straight appearance in the post-season.
And they might still find the play-offs a quite unfamiliar place.
The team they’ve met in the last four post-seasons are in danger of having their own streak of making the play-offs since 2004 snapped, as the Cavs (12-7) are now just a half-game ahead of Jackson (11-7) for the final post-season berth.
Worse yet, the result also booked Clapham’s (12-4) spot, leaving both Warriors (12-5) and Jackson only having to win one game each to leave Station Hill on the outside looking in.
It’s a position the burly Patterson has been in for the last three months after sitting out the Cavs’ previous 12 games due to a league imposed suspension.
But that ban must have felt like a warm embrace compared to the greeting Lakers gave him.
The league’s hottest team gave Patterson first-hand evidence that their billing was all justified, having led by as many as 29 points (78-49) following a surreal third quarter where Lakers looked like they wouldn’t miss if they were shooting from the other basket.
Just about everyone hit jumpers from the deep, led by Keefe Birkett’s pair and one each from Adrian Allman and Ian Alexander, as the Cavs watched a 41-28 half-time deficit become a 60-47 nightmare.
It’s a scenario Patterson probably couldn’t have imagined after scoring within 17 seconds upon taking the floor to bring Station Hill to 21-17 two-and-a-half minutes into the second quarter.
However, Lakers rattled off the next nine points without reply as part of a 20-9 run (40-26), with each Cavs’ big man regularly getting turned back by Ricardo Jemmott as if he was a loans officer.
But Lakers played like the ones who had debts to pay, especially in the third, where Birkett and Jemmott rained jumper after jumper from just about any part of the floor.
So deep was Station Hill’s frustration that Patterson took it out on Alexander in the fourth with a hard foul in the open floor. It was the only thing resembling resistance offered by the Cavs, who were simply happy just to get off the floor by the end of the rout.
Birkett led all scorers with 20 points, Jemmott added 19 points, ten rebounds and six blocks, while Alexander and Allman scored 17 and 12 points, respectively. For the Cavs, Corey Williams scored 15 and Patterson and Andrew Alleyne had ten points apiece.
In the night’s earlier game, Roll-A-Way St John’s Sonics extended last-placed Co-operators General Tridents losing streak to 15 straight games in a tight 57-49 contest.
Dwayne Kellman led Sonics (10-8) with a game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds, Akeem Marsh chipped in with 15 and 12 rebounds, while Mark Bridgeman’s 14 points and 11 rebounds were the best for Tridents (3-16).