Set It Off chills Ice Connection 81-77 for Summer Jam title
BY DEAN H. GREENAWAY
Set It Off walked away with their first Summer Jam Basketball League title on Friday, after overcoming Ice Connection’s 20-point third quarter lead for an 81-77 victory at the Valley Arena on Virgin Gorda.
“For a long time-about five years-I’ve been knocking at the championship door and when I saw the clock ran out I was so excited,” Set It Off’s coach Evrod Nickie said. “Man, I could have cried. I thanked the guys and the committee members who stood there for everyone and tried to run the league.”
The title came about after Nickie made a strategic move by inserting Trevor ‘West’ Stevens as a starter, unlike the first three games when he came off the bench. Nickie noted the new role helped his team stay in the game in the early going. “Ice Connection would open double digit leads in the first quarter and we’d have to fight back,” he noted “We decided to change the lineup and we rubbed with them until the third quarter. The run they would normally have in the first quarter they made it in the third. Our starting lineup made the difference because we played more defense than in the first set of games.”
After blaming the referees for the games they lost, Ice Connection’s William ‘Ice Willy’ Penn, said his team lost the game. “We were up by 20 points in the third quarter and had the game sealed, but things changed. The guards just fell asleep in the fourth quarter. They probably felt they had the game won. Set It Off came back, tied the score and won the game. It was an upset.”
Caleb Liburd scored 24 points in the victory, to go with five assists, four steals and four rebounds. Garvin Stevens added 19 points with nine rebounds. David ‘Bolo’ Lettsome had 24 points to lead Ice Connection with Alton ‘sugar’ Vanterpool adding another 23.
Nickie said he team got no respect throughout the league, and when they were behind by 20 points, everyone in the crowd was getting into the game and cheering for Ice Connection. “I pulled the guys in the huddle and told them the game is not over until the clock goes 00. I told them let’s get it together because we came a long way to get here. We were up 2-0, lost game three so let’s take it from here. They guys listened to me, went out in the fourth quarter and made the run from there.”
Big Tymers won the junior division crown with an 85-80 triumph, after Pure Playaz forced a fifth game with Friday night’s 79-75 victory. Phillip Glasgow led Big Tymers with a game high 27 points. Shermon Tyson added 22 and Juan Guzman 21. Darel George was Pure Playaz’s leading scorer with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Leando Creque also had 25 points while Tad Martin chipped in 17.
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