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Motara mauls St Matthias

Justin Marville

Motara mauls St Matthias

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THE FAIRY TALE is all but over for St Matthias.
Zahir Motara had 49 of his game-high 55 points through three quarters as title favourites Warrens put one hand on basketball’s Third Division cup after blowing away St Matthias Spurs 114-72 in Game 1 of the finals on Tuesday at the Wildey Gymnasium.
It was the 22nd win in as many games for the unbeaten Warrens side that put a swift end to the Spurs’ own undefeated postseason streak that included unlikely series wins over Grazettes and Braves.
But this result never came as a shock, nor did the margin, with Warrens featuring the nucleus of their 2012 Premier League champion squad against a first-time finalist in a classic David versus Goliath showdown.
And St Matthias never stood a chance, not after Motara drilled eight of the team’s 19 treys in just three quarters of a game that Warrens led by as many as 49 points (96-47) early in the fourth quarter.
The former national captain even outscored Spurs by himself through those initial three periods, as St Matthias managed just 47 while Motara started the fourth some two points in the ascendancy.
St Matthias finally did manage to go past their tormentor with a brief 6-0 run before Motara broke the 50-point barrier for the fifth time this season on a fast-break layup on the very next possession.
This was after St Matthias actually held a 12-6 advantage over the game’s first five minutes while Rohan Grant and Kareem Neblett were making a mockery of Warrens’ somewhat laughable interior defence.
But the joke was really on them once the spry Motara started sneaking out behind St Matthias’ even worse transition defence for easy open court layups andspot up three-pointers in the corners.
At one point Motara rattled off 12 points in succession as part of a 22-6 run that closed the quarter and gave Warrens a double-digit lead (28-18) they would never surrender.
Former three-time Premier League MVP Peter Alleyne soon got in on the act with a pair of treys before Motara added four of his own in the ensuing second as Warrens ran out to a 57-32 cushion with little resistance.
With St Matthias failing to pick up Alleyne in transition while struggling to rotate to an open Motara in the corners, the rout was truly on to start the second half as the duo connected on four long-range bombs in succession to give Warrens a 73-38 lead.
However, Alleyne wasn’t done just yet, knocking back two more treys for good measure from straight ahead before one-time Laker Brian Armstrong joined the three-point barrage to put Warrens up 96-47.
Opposing guard Laron “Mellows” Elliott had 16 of his 26 points in garbage time to ignite a brief 10-0 St Matthias run that made the final margin more respectable than the expected 50-point blowout.
Alleyne finished with 21 points, Armstrong had 14, while Kirk Porte added 11 for Warrens, who will look to close out the series tonight at the same venue.
Bennett and Danny Hurley were the other St Matthias double-digit scorers with 16 and 11 points, respectively.