Def Champ Horizon ahead in Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League

The second round of matches in the Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League began as scheduled at 6:00 pm on Wednesday at the National arena to a very involved and noisy set of spectators, with defending champion Horizon getting the better of the Waves and Storm defeating Rivers in contrasting fashion.

Horizon continued its winning ways and is now the sole leader with two wins after two rounds. They were pressured by the Waves who lead the first two quarters 24/16 and 37/34 and well into the third quarter before drawing level 54 a piece, and then inching past them with 4:42 to go in the fourth quarter and take the match 86/79 in a ding dong battle between the teams.

The top performers for Horizon were MVP for the previous competition Bobby Gray 22, Rasheed Maynard 17 and Nicholai Brown 11.

Cleon Morgan, coach of Horizon was pleased with the result “we started out slow compared to the previous game but we had a strategy even though the opponents were leading but the objective was to chip it little by little as we go along. Going into the third quarter we were also down but we started to chip it. We adjusted the defense a little, it worked for us and so we were able to pull off a victory today (Wednesday).”

The Waves came into the match on a high from its win against the Rivers in the first round.  They were quick on the court with some smart plays but were eventually pegged back by Horizon.  Waves’ top scorers were Cameron Burhannan 40, Marin Dixon Green 14 and Lushane Wilson 10.

The other match-up pitched the Rivers against the Storm. They were looking for their first win, having both lost to Waves and Horizon respectively in the first round. The Storm came out blazing with a 35/7 first quarter but the Rivers outscored them (37/19) in the second quarter to close out the half at 44/54 (and trailed by ten points). The Storm re-grouped in the third quarter to extend their lead to 17 and end the quarter 79/62 in their favour after allowing the Rivers to come within three points in the quarter. The Rivers made a run (33/24) again in the fourth quarter but could not catch the Storm who posted 102 for the win to Rivers’ 96.

The Storm’s Brandon BDot Armstrong 31, Jayrn Johnson 25, Da’Rell Domine 17 and Roshane O’Brian 14 were the top scorers, while Ricky Shaford 27, Anthony Ottley 27 and Tre Brewer 25 were the main contributors the Rivers’ score.

According to the Storm’s coach Oneil Brown who spoke after the match, “I feel great. After the first game I must show respect to the guys who came back after the first game loss. They showed character and come out here and changed the way they played. This is a pro league, this is what pro teams do. We made adjustments and we changed the entire thing yesterday at practice because the first game did not work. We came out here with a plan and my team executed the plan and I am grateful for the victory.”  He credited top scorer BDot and Johnson and the entire team who stepped up their performance, for winning the match.

The four-team competition roster boasts overseas based pros from the USA, Canada and Barbados and fifty percent Jamaican amateurs.

The next set of matches on the four-team schedule will see Horizon taking on the winless Rivers while Storm will battle Waves on Saturday at the National Arena.  The first match is scheduled for start at 6:00 pm while the second match will start at 8:00 pm.

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