Def Champ Horizon Takes Early Lead in Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League

The Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League tipped-off last Saturday at the National arena in front of a fair sized crowd with defending champion Horizon roundly defeating the Storm 114 to 62.  The quarter scores were 26/11, 27/14, 32/19 and 29/18.

All twelve members of team Horizon contributed to the win with the USA based Trevor Thompson top scoring with 19 points.  The other players to get into double figures were Bobby Gray (USA) 17, Asaad Woods (USA) 16, while three Jamaicans Nicholai Brown, Antjuan McFarlane and Anthony White all scored 11 points each.

The top scorers for the Storm were the USA based Jaryn Johnson 11 and Trayvon Jefferson-Bey also 11 while Daniel Martiller of Jamaica scored 10 points.  It took more than five minutes for the Storm to get on the score sheet as they trailed 2/15 behind the Horizon at that point.

Cleon Morgan, coach of Horizon was pleased with the team’s performance in the their first match.  “I am pleased with the performance from the team tonight.  It could have been a bit better in other areas but its the first game so I am sure that they are getting the butterflies out.”

The other match, which was the first match to start this year’s Winter League saw the Rivers getting the better of the Waves 110 to 94.  The Rivers started strong and lead 29/19 for the first quarter and 53/46 at half time but the Waves posted a strong 33/20 to take the lead at the end of the third quarter at 79/73.  Both team scored 21 each in a very competitive last quarter.  The top scorers on the night were Anthony Ottley of Canada who posted 39 for the Rivers and Cameron Burhannon of the USA with 36 points for the Waves.

The Waves’ coach Rohan Robinson was happy to get the win in the first match.  “It feels good.  Last year I was in the same position as the other team so it just feels good for me now that I can match up with the teams and get the best out of the players.”

The four team competition roster boasts overseas based pros from the USA, Canada and Barbados and fifty percent Jamaican amateurs.  According to the league president Wayne Dawkins, it was specifically designed give the Jamaicans the opportunity to play with the pros and to give them the type of exposure to professional basketball that will help them to become better players as well as prepare them to take up opportunities abroad.

The league will feature double-header matches on Saturdays and Wednesday until the final week when matches are scheduled for Friday January 27and Sunday January 29 with the top two teams competing for the title.

The next set of matches on the four-team schedule will see the two day-one winners – Horizon and Waves – battling each other on Wednesday at the National Arena.  The two losing teams – Rivers and Storm – will try to record their first win in the league.  The first match will start at 6:00 pm while the second match will start at 8:00 pm.

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