Warrens blow away Cavs
The only men to have beaten the Cavs in the first round now own another first against Station Hill.
In-season acquisition Zahir Motara scored 19 points off the bench while Pearson Griffith spurred the decisive second-quarter run as Warrens completed a historic season-sweep of basketball’s Premier League-leading Mpact Station Hill Cavaliers in Tuesday’s 88-64 rout at the Wildey Gym.
It’s the first time that Warrens have ever taken both regular season games against the former six-time league champs since their top flight debut in 2006.
The win – their third in as many games – also put Warrens (9-5) two games clear of Pinelands (7-7) in the race for the fourth and final play-off berth, while handing the Cavs their first two-game losing streak of the season after the league leaders rattled off seven straight wins.
It’s similar to how Motara has been rattling off treys, as the reserve shooting guard knocked down another five long-range bombs to give him nine in his first two games in a Warrens uniform.
But the shots close to the basket proved the difference on this night, with Station Hill finding no answer to Griffith down low while the six-foot-ten behemoth scored nine points in a game-changing second quarter.
What started as a mere 21-14 cushion turned into a 43-32 advantage before Motara found a streaking Dario Cumberbatch down the floor for a buzzer-beating lay-up that put Warrens up 13 at the half.
Station Hill briefly threatened but Greig Springer ended that run – and whatever hopes the Cavs had – with a pair of crucial jumpers while Motara knocked back his fourth trey of the contest to help extend Warrens’ lead to 15 (62-47).
Manuel Alleng had ten of his 16 points in garbage time to duly put away the Cavs, who dropped to an 11-3 record. Alleng added ten rebounds while Springer scored 16 points. Peter Alleyne chipped in with 15 points and Griffith finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
For the Cavs, Seon Hilliman topscored with 18 points and Junior Moore had a double-double of ten points and 12 rebounds.
Earlier, forward Akeem Marsh had a game-high 26 points and rookie point guard Chiamaka Browne added 14 to help title contenders Roll-A-Way St John’s Sonics rebound from Saturday’s humiliating loss to Clapham with a 67-40 drubbing of Co-operators General Tridents.
The woeful schoolboys were held to just four second-quarter points as Sonics blew open a 16-10 contest into a 36-14 half-time affair for the wire-to-wire victory.
Sonics (10-5) remained in third with the win while the Tridents dropped to a league-worst 1-14 record.