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No fight in Warriors against Warrens

Justin Marville

No fight in Warriors against Warrens

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Warriors’ play-off equation looks fairly unsolvable now.
Dario Cumberbatch led five players in double digits with 15 points, as Warrens all but knocked a listless Warriors out of postseason contention following Tuesday’s rather routine 72-62 victory in the Co-operators General Insurance Basketball Premier League at the Wildey Gym.
The loss was their third straight, and sixth overall in the last seven league games for a dysfunctional Dayrells Road side that now must win their three games and hope to beat Cougars by at least 27 points.
More importantly, the result guaranteed Warrens’ stay in the top flight for another season after the demotion-bound Challengers had earlier succumbed to a 105-51 thumping from Smalta Pinelands.
At one point Warriors looked certain of suffering a similar fate, having given up 24 off the easiest points in the opening six minutes alone while falling behind by as many as 17 points in the first quarter.
It was as if they forgot they were fighting for their play-off lives, with Warriors committing simple unforced turnovers and then compounding the situation by refusing to get back in transition.
Such was their lack of effort that Cumberbatch’s sole competition in the open court came from teammate Greig Springer, who also took turns feasting off uncontested lay-ups.
Even when Warriors got back, which was hardly ever in that first half, Cumberbatch still made his way to the ring effortlessly after euro-stepping past Lord Nelson-like defenders.
Warriors did eventually rally, turning a 35-21 deficit into single digits (40-31) by the break after Daniel turned several of Russell Armstrong’s subsequent turnovers into fast-break lay-ups.
And they weren’t done there either, as Kenny Matthews also graciously took those Armstrong gaffes in the next direction to pull Warriors within one (41-40) early in the third quarter.
But Warriors never got any closer, not after Pearson Griffith immediately answered with an “and-one” hook shot and then hit Cumberbatch underneath for an easy lay-in.
Springer subsequently added one of his own, before Cumberbatch emphatically slammed one home off a touch pass from Lance Posey.
Armstrong then returned to make up for his misgivings by sandwiching a pair of Griffith free throws with a huge trey and floater (59-47) to all but seal Warriors demise.
As if that wasn’t enough, Clive Holder got in on the act at the other end, coming up with back-to-back blocks at the ring to start another set of transition scores.
Griffith finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds, Springer and Armstrong each scored 13 points while Lance Posey had 11 points and 12 boards for Warrens, who improved to a 5-10 record.
Matthews led Warriors (5-8) with 22 points while Durant and Seon Hilliman scored 16 apiece.
Earlier, Jeremy Gill had 30 points and nine rebounds, and Junior Moore notched his second triple double of the season to lead the league-leading Pine to a 54-point demolition of Challengers.
Moore finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and ten assists, Charles Vanderpool had 19 points and ten boards while Halley Franklyn scored 20 points as Challengers surrendered their fourth 100-point total in five games.
Rudo Catlyn had a team-high 14 points for Challengers (1-12) while Ryan Moseley-Clarke and Alex Clarke both scored ten points.