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Warrens win in League thriller


Justin Marville

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Peter Alleyne’s retirement sure wasn’t a long one.
Shorter still was his comeback.
Twenty minutes into his Premier League return and basketball’s Most Valuable Player was probably already ruing the decision, having been ejected at half-time of Warrens’ 66-65 thriller over Pinelands at the Barbados Community College Sunday.
It was just one of a couple of shocking developments of what seemed to be another dreary triple-header when Nicholls Baking Company Cougars started with a routine 36-point win against schoolboys.
But basketball wasn’t to be without its April Fool’s drama, as Alleyne, 35, stunningly ended his three-month retirement by suiting up for Warren’s league-opener.
And his was one of three unexpected appearances, with veteran teammates Pearson Griffith and Kevin Austin also turning out after both were non-committal about playing in the off-season.
However, they were the ones who got the real surprise.
Alleyne was astonishingly thrown out of the game at intermission after getting into a dispute with referee Sade Clarke over warming up with the game ball – his club’s lone basketball.
More stunning still was Warrens’ response.
With Griffith scoring on a series left-hand hooks and free throws, Warrens went on a 24-10 run, turning a 31-28 deficit into a 52-41 cushion as Pinelands struggled.
The Pine rallied by scoring the last six points of the period though, before swingman Ramon Simmons went on a fourth quarter tear to lock the scores at 62 with less than two minutes to play.
It was a highlight reel of the ages, with Simmons scoring Pinelands’ last 14 points of the game – hitting six straight free throws at one point before adding a pull-up jumper and a contested three-pointer.
But Austin answered with a short bank shot while Dario Cumberbatch sank a pair of crucial free throws to reopen a four-point Warrens lead (66-62) with one minute left.
And Griffith very nearly threw away that lead with a subsequent turnover, but there was only .3 of a second left on the clock after Simmons’ last triple. Griffith finished with 17 points and Austin added ten while Simmons led the Pine with a game-high 33 points.
In the night cap, Jamar King led five players in double digits with 18 points as the defending league champions Lumber Company Lakers thrashed Clapham Bulls 74-48 in a rematch of last year’s finals.
The short-handed, seven-man Bulls side actually led their league-opener following an encouraging 17-9 start to the contest. But veteran centre Sydney Rowe went down with an injury and the champs rattled off 21 straight points in the ensuing second as part of a 32-9 second-quarter blitz (44-28).
That cushion soon became a 58-35 rout in the third after Ian Alexander got away for a pair of layups and a backbreaking triple before Andre Lockhart added a pull-up jumper of his own.
Lockhart and Omari Corbin ended with 13 points apiece, Alexander scored 11 while Mark Bridgeman netted ten.
For Clapham, Halley Franklyn had 20 points and ten rebounds, and Sean Parris added 13 points and 12 boards.
Earlier, small forward Adrian Stewart scored a season-high 36 points while Adrian Catlyn had 13 of his 21 in the second quarter of Cougars’ 97-61 blowout of Co-operators General Tridents. Forward Aamir Morris scored 17 for the schoolboys, who trailed from pillar to post.

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