Lakers roll over Warrens
Peter Alleyne’s talents might not have been on display, but his reasons for coming out of retirement sure were.
Basketball’s next best rivalry looked anything but, as Ricardo Jemmott had a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead unbeaten Premier League champs Lumber Company Lakers to a 82-66 thumping of an Alleyne-less Warrens at the Wildey Gym on Thursday.
The result only provided further validation for the suspended Alleyne, who was forced to sit out the rivalry game after being ejected from the league-opening win against Pinelands.
And the contest wasn’t even as close as the 16-point margin suggested, with Lakers leading by as many as 29 (72-43) in the second half versus a team that clearly couldn’t replace the reigning MVP.
Not that Alleyne needed this game to figure that out.
Three months after stunningly announcing his retirement, the 35-year-old combo-guard ended it just as abruptly, having watched Warrens needing double overtime to beat Lakers’ third division side.
But the champs needed just one period to do what their club-mates couldn’t in six, blowing the contest wide open by scoring 20 of the last 26 points in the first quarter for a quick 24-10 cushion.
Warrens only got within single digits once thereafter – failing to do justice to a series where five of the last six match-ups have been decided by eight points or less.
What was decided was Warrens’ fate, after the Jackson-based side couldn’t get any closer than eight (26-18) despite Andre Lockhart’s early foul trouble.
Even when Lakers managed a mere free-throw in a three-minute span in the second, Warrens fared worse, turning over successive inbounds passes while generally struggling to keep the ball over the timeline without Alleyne.
The upshot was Pearson Griffith being limited to one shot in the second, and 11 in total, as the six-foot-ten centre was held to just ten points after Warrens couldn’t consistently get the ball in the post.
They had no issues with routinely watching Lakers score though.
The champs rattled off seven unanswered points to close the half (45-29) before Ricardo Jemmott capped a 25-13 run (70-42) on the other side of the break with three big dunks – none better than an and-one play over a hapless Richie Walker.
It was all part of his stunning 17-point third-quarter performance, which also included the six-foot-nine pogo stick rejecting three blocks and hauling in seven boards in the period to change a 45-29 contest into a 72-43 blowout.
Lockhart finished with 12 points before fouling out in the fourth, while Manuel Alleng led Warrens with 19 points – eight of which came in the last period as part of a unthreatening 23-10 fightback.
Earlier, Roll-A-Way St John’s Sonics scored ten of the last 12 points of the third quarter before cruising to their first win of the season in a 69-52 rout of Colombian Emeralds International Senators.
Clinging to a 41-38 lead, Sonics closed the quarter on a 10-2 run as Senators turned over the ball on six successive possessions.
Forward Akeem Marsh had four quick points to start the fourth, then Jefferson Trotman added successive and-one plays before assisting on a Shane Whittaker jumper to seal the deal (68-50).
Marsh ended with 17 points and Trotman had 16, while Alvin Padmore led the winless Senators with 11 points and ten rebounds.