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Cougars maul Cavs

Justin Marville

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Count this as one business plan that hasn’t proved profitable just yet.
Kelvin Patterson is back, but the return of the “Business Man” didn’t reap immediate rewards, as the Station Hill Cavaliers saw their three-game streak snapped via Saturday’s 85-68 beating from Cougars in the Co-operators General Insurance Basketball Premier League.
It was easily the night’s biggest storyline entering the match at the Barbados Community College, with the veteran big man suiting up for the first time after missing the season’s first 12 games.
And his return was shocking to say the least considering Station Hill’s rise to prominence that saw the club win nine of its first 12 fixtures in his absence.
More stunning still was the Cavs’ rather indifferent start to a potential play-off preview in which they surrendered one transition score after another in Cougars’ 31-point first-quarter outburst.
Worse yet, head coach Adrian Craigwell didn’t call a single timeout, or substitution for that matter, while falling behind by as many as 31 points (39-8) within the first 15 minutes.
Patterson did have an impact on the game though, having led a 15-5 Cavs finish (46-27) to the half when he played the final 2:43 of the second quarter.
Station Hill actually got within single digits on the other side of the break too after Jamai Puckerin and Jamario Clarke combined for six unanswered points to start the third quarter.
The lead had all but disappeared into a unrecognisable 54-48 margin just six minutes into period, with the short-handed Cougars looking for answers in the absence of head coach Wade Medford.
But Patterson fittingly ended the rally he started, picking up a questionable technical call on the offensive end at the beginning of Cougars’ 14-5 reply.
Reigning MVP Adrian Stewart had six free throws during that span, including the two resulting from the violation before finding Damien Nicholls underneath for an easy layup.
Godfrey Leacock then added to Cavs’ misery with two big treys, and Ricardo Jemmott added one of his own to start the fourth as Cougars rebuilt an unassailable 21-point cushion (77-56).
It was a basic mirror image to their high-flying start which saw them score 12 of the game’s first 14 points off a couple triples and uncontested lay-ups in the open floor.
When Stewart wasn’t beating Station Hill down the floor, Nicholls simply cleaned up the few misses Cougars actually endured for easier baskets in the paint.
Stewart led all scorers with 25 points and seven assists for Cougars, who moved a game behind Station Hill (9-4) for third with an 8-5 record. Nicholls finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks, Leacock scored 19 points while Jemmott netted 13.
Puckerin topscored for Cavs with 16 points and ten boards while Saeed Norville had 14 points.
Earlier, Warriors inexplicably refused to foul inside the final 22 seconds en route to a thrilling 66-64 defeat against Urban Vybz St John’s Sonics.
Needing to stop the clock after Daniel Durant made the contest a one-possession game with two free throws, Warriors curiously allowed Sonics to dribble out the clock after St John’s inbounded the ball with the shot clock turned off.
Shane Whittaker had 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for St John’s (6-5), who remained a game and a half back of Cougars for the fourth and final play-off spot.
Kenny Matthews followed up his career-high 40 points on Thursday with 28 points for Warriors (5-6) while Nicholai Williams added 16 points, eight boards and six blocks.