By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
A new champion will be crowned by Sunday in the Hon. Julian Fraser Save The Seed Basketball League, when West Gunners and Splash Brothers meet for the title in a best of three championships series starting on Friday.
West Gunners dissected defending championships Bayside Blazers in the semifinals ensuring that a third different champion will be crowned in the three year old league.
Coming off a 38 points 95-57 whipping of Bayside Blazers on Friday, West Gunners overpowered the defending champs 97-80 to advance.
“We wanted to show them that the regular season victory was no fluke win,” West Gunners captain Rowan Victor said of the 111-67 triumph.. “The series was always a competitive one. They are always a hard team to beat, they have chemistry and they have defense, but we came out with a passion. We’re on a mission. Every team we play, we’re going to play them hard.”
Bayside Blazers’ Dione Blyden dropped in a 3-pointer that gave them a 44-42 lead with 2:00 left in the first half but they ended the period trailing 49-48. Blyden who finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and six steals behind Steve Parillon’s game high 27, helped the Bayside Blazers open an eight points 60-52 lead 4:33 into the third quarter.
Then Victor brought his team back, scoring 12 of his 26 points in the third quarter He nailed a 3-pointer that put them up 69-65 to end the period and took the lead for good.
“I told the guys we were too comfortable. We relaxed too much because we thought we had the game easy,” he explained. “I told them we have to get our composure, play defense like Gunners play defense and it came through. As a leader, I had to step up and control the game.”
D’Moi Hodge followed up with seven rebounds and five steals. Bjorn Caleb contributed a 21 points and 16 rebound’s double double while Victor’s brother Rowan poured in a 15 points 13 rebounds double double to go with five steals.
Sekayi Peterson contributed 11 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals to Bayside Blazers score.
“We did a better job of pulling together in terms of the fight we had but I think that in regards to personnel, we just didn’t have it,” Bayside Blazers coach Rhennie Phipps said. “We were missing Franklyn Penn, he was our leading scorer and we were missing 20 points from him. But I think tonight, we did a good job, so we’re just going to regroup and come back.”
Splash Brothers who sealed a thrilling first game on Friday night 82-80 as time expired over the Knights, rode Charlesworth George’s 19 points 12 rebounds double double, to an 80-74 victory and the right to meet West Gunners whom they met during the regular season but that game ended in controversy.
Ashield Frett finished with 17 points and Travis Issac dropped in 15 points, 11 rebounds along with six steals and four assists.
Jevon Serrant paced the Knights with game highs of 26 points and 10 steals for his double. He also had eight rebounds.