Posey helps Warrens avoid demotion
There will be no first-to-worst nightmares for Warrens.
Lance Posey scored the game-winning tip-in with one second remaining as the reigning Premier League basketball champs avoided the indignity of demotion less than a year after winning their only top flight title.
Saturday’s 70-68 thriller over Challengers at the YMCA ensured Warrens (6-7) escaped the dubious distinction of becoming the first club in Division 1 history to be relegated while defending a league crown.
The news, though, wasn’t so optimistic for Clapham (4-9), with the result assuring Bulls’ demotion and the unceremonious end to a record 28-year stay in the top flight.
Warrens very nearly let it slip, surrendering all of a 17-point first half lead before Challengers forward Ricardo Toussaint tied the game at 68 with a free throw inside the final minute.
The Culloden Road side even had a chance to go ahead just moments later as Warrens inexplicably turned over the ball on the ensuing inbounds pass.
However, Posey tied up Alwyn Lovell for a jump ball on a threatening drive from the prolific Challengers forward to give Warrens seven seconds and one more possession to win the game outright in regulation.
The contest seemed headed to certain extra time though, with Lovell forcing Peter Alleyne into a tough off-balanced runner, but no one accounted for Posey on the weak-side and the American forward had an easy uncontested tap-in just before the final horn.
It proved the unlikely finish to a game that Warrens led from the opening tip while turning an initial 18-10 lead into a 30-13 cushion. However, Challengers scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter before Lovell rattled off eight straight of his own to pull his side within one (68-67).
Toussaint then split a pair of free throws to lock the game just seconds later and Warrens turned over the ball to give Challengers a chance at the go-ahead basket.
Akeem Williams and George Farrell led Warrens with 13 points and Posey finished with 12 points and ten rebounds while Lovell topscored for Challengers with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The night cap between Lumber Company Lakers and Cougars was rained out with the former leading 9-7 early in the first quarter.