Another final for Graydon Sealy
Even their supposed trials don’t look like much of a test for Graydon Sealy.
Andrew Ifill had a game-high 34 points, including ten during the fourth-quarter as title favourites Graydon Sealy held off a late rally before downing Queen’s College 73-61 in yesterday’s semis of the Co-operators General Insurance Schools’ Under-16 Basketball Tournament at the Wildey Gym.
The win ensured a second successive finals appearance for the defending champs, who basically went untested while posting an 11-0 regular season record with an average margin of victory over 41 points.
But they had more than their fair share of challenges this time around, with Ifill picking up four first-half fouls before Queen’s College reduced a 19-point deficit (52-33) to just seven (61-54) with five minutes remaining.
They never got any closer as Ifill scored ten of the next 12 points including seven straight to almost single-handedly put the contest out of reach.
A cinch to win the MVP award, the prolific combo guard was a virtual one-man fast break, hauling in the rebounds himself before beating everyone down the floor for a pair of coast-to-coast buckets.
Teammate Shaquan Newton ended his string of baskets with an uncontested layup until Ifill was back at it again with another layup and a nifty pull-up jumper to end the threat by putting the champs up 71-59.
It was the surprisingly close finish to a game that Ifill and Newton threatened to blow open within the first five minutes after igniting a 15-5 surge.
However, Queen’s College eventually solved their opponents’ full court pressure for a couple of Nykell Wilson buckets before Kieron Savoury put Ifill in serious foul trouble by attacking the basket off the dribble in the ensuing second quarter.
The result was a 10-2 Queen’s College run towards the end of the half that got the underdogs within eight (37-29) after Graydon Sealy went up by as much as 14.
But the champs responded on the other side of the break with a 12-4 run of their own, with Ifill sparking the surge with a pair of triples to turn a 40-29 half-time cushion into a 52-33 rout as Wilson also picked up his fourth foul.
Wilson wasn’t done just yet, though, returning with Savoury and Makaari Jones in an unlikely 14-4 fourth-quarter spurt capped by Wilson’s surreal euro step layup.
Savoury finished with 22 points, Jones added 16 and Wilson scored 13, while Newton assisted Ifill with 26 points.
In the other semi-final, Brandon Hope scored 29 points as Lester Vaughan advanced to today’s title game via a 61-51 defeat of Foundation.
Brett Williams had 13 points and Kalvin Marcus added ten points in an entertaining back-and-forth contest that Lester Vaughan held a mere 42-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Tre Bartlett led Foundation with 17 points, Mikkail Brathwaite had 11 and Nathaniel Waithe finished with ten.