Cavs get off mark at last
THERE WON’T BE any more 0-4 starts for these Cavs.
Station Hill are off the mark, but only just, having squandered all but two points of a 15-point second half lead before holding on for Thursday’s last-second 65-62 win over an error-prone Warrens in the latest action of basketball’s Co-operators General Insurance Premier League at the Wildey Gym.
Station Hill bounced back from Sunday’s season-opening loss to Lumber Company LSC to ensure avoiding last year’s dreadful 0-4 start to the season – the worst in their history.
And they seemed almost emphatic in putting that defeat behind them, getting a surprising spark from reserve big man Lamar Grazette to spur a huge 19-2 third quarter run (52-37) in which Cavs routinely turned over their sloppy opponents.
But Warrens immediately cut into that 15-point deficit by scoring six points unanswered to finish the period before pulling within seven (56-49) while holding Station Hill to just two points over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter.
The hole would’ve been smaller still had Pearson Griffith not missed his first three free throws as part of an overall team effort that saw Warrens go ten of 20 from the charity stripe in that period.
Two ensuing turnovers then seemed to all but doom their cause, as Jason Smith converted the first gaffe into a big trey before Stefan Yarde’s layup put Cavs ahead 61-49.
However, Smith picked up a needless technical on the very next possession, then Akeem Williams responded with a triple of his own prior to Lance Posey splitting free throws that pulled Warrens within two (61-59).
However, Warrens turned over the ball on three straight trips thereafter before Greig Springer added a fourth via a charging call that allowed Station Hill to go up two possessions.
Yet Warrens were still in the contest after Posey’s layup with 19.2 seconds left cut the deficit again to two points (63-61).
But they failed to grab the rebound when Cavs guard Saeed Norville split his shots at the line and compounded that error by failing to call a timeout to advance the ball when they trailed 65-61 with nine seconds remaining.
It was a result Station Hill were only too thankful for after falling behind 13-3 in quick time.
That lead was very short-lived, though, as Griffith picked up a second foul quickly thereafter, resulting in a run of ten unanswered Cavs points.
Their real surge came to start the second half when a string of Warrens turnovers led to multiple points in the paint from Grazette.
Darren Hunte led Cavs with 11 points, Jamai Puckerin added ten while Grazette had all nine of his points in that third quarter.
For Warrens, who dropped to 1-1, Posey had 13 points and 17 boards while Griffith also scored 13 to go with nine rebounds and four blocks.
Earlier, shooting guard Adrian Allman scored a game-high 23 points, including 12 in the third quarter as defending champs Lumber Company LSC improved to 2-0 with a routine 64-42 rout of the winless Combined Schools Tridents.
Ormond Haynes had a double-double of 14 points and ten rebounds while Andre Boadu added ten points for LSC, who opened up a 19-8 first quarter lead and never trailed from there.
Nikolai Burton scored 11 points and had ten boards as the lone player in double digits for Tridents, who fell to 0-2.