By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The Charlotte Amalie High School Hawks Jr. Varsity Boys Basketball team beat the Elmore Stoutt High School Rams, 46-39 on Sunday, in the deciding game of the St. Thomas-St. John Interscholastic Athletic Association Championship best of three series at the Multipurpose Sports Complex. It marked the first meeting of the schools on BVI soil since the Rams officially joined the IAA League on December.
The Rams overpowered the Hawks 50-27 on Saturday to force the deciding game after losing the opener 37-29 on Friday in St. Thomas.
Playing man on man, Daveon Plummer and Vallon Toussaint combined to score 18 points in the first and early into the second quarter as they constructed a 13-points advantage en route to beating the Rams.
Plummer scored 10 of his game high 14 points in the first quarter and Toussaint bagged eight of his 13 in the same period as the Hawks who were up 23-11 early in the first quarter, saw the Rams making a 10-2 run to pull within 25-21 with 1:48 left in the second half. The Hawks led 26-23 at halftime.
With a three weeks break before Friday night’s game, Hawks coach Thomas Brutvan said he expected his squad to come out flat and have to try and win in the closing stages. He said they came into Saturday’s game a little too relaxed and got caught. With the double digit loss, he hoped they would bring their A game on Sunday and they answered the bell.
“This has been an excellent series—not just for these three games but for the season—where the series had been tied at 2-2 heading into the deciding game,” noted Chicken Hawks coach Thomas Brutvan. “Every game has been competitive other than yesterday when we got blown out. But this team (Rams) are freakishly athletic, well coached, good system offense, good system and good defense. We see everybody they play have front problems with the pressure and that’s why we figured today we had to pressure them back to stress them the way they were stressing us yesterday,” he added noting that he enjoy playing games like that where it’s competitive throughout and you have to play your A game to get a win.
“We knew coming in, anything short of our best game today, wasn’t going to be good enough, after we saw them play the way they did on their home court,” he said. “You see true character through adversity because these guys got beaten yesterday like they haven’t been beaten all season. To come back the next day and beat a team the beat you that bad really showed they didn’t doubt, they believed in what we were trying to do and we were able to come in, play our best game when we needed it.”
Malachi Payne led the Rams with 11 points. Kmoi Walters and Ajai Frett chipped in nine points each.
Rams coach Brian Thomas declined to comment on the game.
Rams Athletics Director Derwin Scatliffe agreed the series was a great one where coaches made adjustments and the players try to come out and execute. “The Hawks coach changed his game plan, after sitting in a zone the last couple of games—the reason being to try and rest his players,” Scatliffe noted. “He realized we made the adjustment, then today he played man on man from jump street and when he got a lead, to rest his players, he went back to zone and you call that coaching.”