By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Rowan Victor got West Gunners going with a 6-0 run. Then D’Moi Hodge lighted up the arc with six first half 3-pointers. And defending Hon. Julian Fraser Save The Seed Basketball League defending champions Bayside Blazers had no answer, in a matchup between unbeatens, during Saturday night’s final game, after the league returned on Friday following a two weeks break because of players’ indiscipline.
After West Gunners raced to that 6-0 lead, they never looked back. They outscored Bayside Blazers, 29-12 in the second quarter, while racing to a 62-29, halftime lead. They capitalized on turnovers, scored on fast breaks and Hodge scored 18 of his 21 half time points from behind the arc and finished with a game high 30.
“We showed them we came to play ball and once we come to play ball, and no one cheats us, we’re good to go,” West Gunners coach William “Jah Willy” Leonard said. “This was a whole team effort, everybody did something—it wasn’t just one player—the whole team was involved.”
Still on cruise control in the second half, West Gunners led by as much as 49 points, 101-51 with 3:22 left in the game. Victor scored 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter in helping West Gunners to keep Bayside Blazers at bay.
Hodge—who led five scorers in double figures—finished with eight rebounds, six steals and five assists. Jamarli James dropped in 12 while Ray Victor contributed a 10 points, 13 rebounds 11 assists triple double for West Gunners. Devlon Leonard added another 10 to the tally. Franklyn Penn Jr., led Bayside Blazers with 18 points but missed the second half of the game. Sandy Nadal added another 16.
Bayside Blazers assistant coach Jason Edwin said they came up against a tough West Gunners team that was prepped and ready to go. “We came out sluggish from the jump ball and it carried over for the whole game,” he noted. “We had nothing going tonight. Both ends of the court we shot poorly, we played poor defense and we have to take our hats off to West Gunners. They came out ready to play and they were the better team tonight.”
Requan Fahie had 24 points and pulled 14 boards in leading the Spartans past the Starz, 81-75, in a game that was tied at 65-65 with five minutes left before going on a 6-0 run to seize control. Tyler Cameron followed up with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Devorn Furlonge led the Starz with a game high 28 points and snatched 14 off the rack, to go with four steals. Stephen Caul followed up with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his double double. He also had five steals. Tafari Winchester dropped in another 15.
Zone Six Ballers overcame an 18 points second half deficit en route to beating the Splash Brothers, 95-87. Nathaniel Malone helped to ignite the stellar comeback dropped in a game high 33 points for the winners and Zharnel Joseph added another 28. Deshawn Douglas contributed a 13 points 13 rebounds double double.
Shamoi Dagou led Splash Brothers with a 25 points effort, to go with nine assists and seven rebounds. Michael Benjamin added another 18 to the tally. Ashield Frett finished with a 16 points 10 boards double and Charlesworth George poured in another 13 points.
Jose Barbulena notched a 24 points, 18 rebounds and 11 steals triple double to lead Pure Playaz over Young Starz, 76-51. Malique Wattley led Young Starz with 26 points. He also had seven rebounds and five steals.
The Warriors uses Joash Victor’s 26 points, 8 steals, 4 assists and 4 rebounds to beat the Starz, 89-72. Shakeem Blakcmore followed up with 18 points and pulled 12 rebounds. Tafari Winchester dropped in a game high 27 points for the Starz. Rudy Vanterpool added 14 points and 12 rebounds to the tally.