Cavs rout Cougars
BOY WAS THIS ONE BAD – even by Cougars’ standards.
The seams have officially come apart in Hothersal, as Cavs swingman Darren Hunte exploded for a career-best 39 points in Station Hill’s staggering 107-62 beat down of a reeling Cougars in Thursday’s Co-operators General Insurance Basketball Premier League action at the Wildey Gym.
It was as lopsided as results come to say the least, with the red-hot Cavs outscoring Cougars 81-40 from the midway point of the second quarter to blow the lid right off what actually started as a close contest.
That Cougars were even in the game to begin with may be the real surprise, after a season which has already seen them have to go back for old coach Wade Medford to replace the departed Oliver Nicholas.
This was following losses in two of their last three games and a near upset defeat to schoolboys amidst clear on-court bickering.
But they just might have reached the brink now, with offseason pickup Terrence Roach having to be benched for the entire second half after erupting in a raucous half-time tirade.
Whether racing out in transition or spotting up from behind the arc, Hunte just never looked likely of missing while going 14 of 17 from the floor for the season’s best individual score to date.
At one point, he even connected on eight straight attempts in a surreal 21-point fourth-quarter performance to put the cap on what was already a 31-point (71-40) rout.
Not that his points came in garbage time either, as Hunte got things going in that second quarter by converting a nifty alley-oop before adding another lay-up in transition.
However, the real catalyst for the run proved to be Saeed Norville, who seemingly got his hands on every errant pass, missed-dribble and loose ball to feed Hunte and Kevin Sealy in the open court.
Norville even added a lay-up of his own, and then sank a big triple before Jason Smith knocked one down as the cap to an 18-4 (44-26) finish to the half.
But Cougars weren’t done turning over the ball, far from, as Corey Howard then joined the party in a “small-ball” line-up that featured four guards and a solitary “big”.
That 18-point cushion then quickly became a 71-40 blowout before Hunte truly had his way against a Cougars side that tapped out about 15 minutes earlier.
Norville barely missed out on a triple-double with 11 points, eight assists and nine steals for Station Hill, who improved to a 4-1 record, while Hunte added 11 rebounds. Godfrey Leacock led Cougars (2-3) with 16 points.
Earlier, Keefe Birkett and Adrian Allman combined for 16 third-quarter points as defending champs LSC overcame a pedestrian start before rolling to a routine 69-47 victory over Challengers.
It was the sixth win in as many games for the unbeaten league leaders, who actually went scoreless for the game’s first eight minutes while piling up several turnovers.
Challengers weren’t much better though, but still remained in the contest for the entire first-half despite dealing with LSC’s smaller and quicker line-ups.
However, the champs eventually blew the game wide open by closing the third quarter on a 16-5 run by pushing every missed shot and turnover into transition opportunities at the other end.
Birkett finished with 19 points, Allman scored 16 and Mark Bridgeman added 12 for LSC (6-0), while Ramon Ward was the lone Challengers (1-4) player in double digits with 14 points.