Horizon successfully defended its title after thrashing Storm by 24 points in the final of the Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League on Sunday at the National Arena. Waves copped third place by delivering a similar thrashing to the Rivers who lost all their eight matches.
Storm started positively, scored the first points of the game and was competitive in the first quarter but with two minutes to go Horizon took over by scoring 12 points to Storm’s two for a 10-point lead (28-18). Horizon stamped their class on the match and increased their lead for every quarter after that (59-47, 83-68) and posted a final score of 113-89 to retain its championship.
Horizon’s Bobby Gray who was named MVP was on fire all over the court, scoring 45 points while getting support from team mates Asaad Woods 18 and Rasheed Maynard Woods 17, while Da’Rell Dominek 30 and Jayrn Johnson 22 were the top scorers for Storm but their best player all season Brandon BDot Armstrong had his worst game, contributing only six points.
Cleon Morgan, Horizon’s coach was happy “(I) feel pretty elated tonight. We had done it in the summer and this is the winter league and we are able to pull off another championship again. We came out tonight looked a little bit smoother even though we started off a little sloppy but regardless of that we picked up back the pace and we maintained the lead all the way till the end of the game.”
The Storm coach, Oneil Brown thought that his team did not play to win, “actually a lot of us struggled. I think the guard play, the red team Horizon have a better guard play than us tonight. I can’t wait to see the stats paper on BDot and others. Their guards outscored us and you can see the score at the end. I am disappointed in my team. If it wasn’t for Da’Rell we’d by down by 40 and the game would be long over but it has been a good season, ups and down and we looking forward for next year.”
Waves came prepared to close the championship with a win after narrowly missing out on a place in the final. They were pipped by Storm and had to play Rivers for third place. They put on an exhibition to dominate Rivers in every quarter and area of the game (3-pointers, blocks, free throws, defense, etc.). The quarter scores were 30-12, 52-33, 82-67, 110-86).
Lushane Wilson 27 and Cameron Burhannon 26 were the top scorers for Waves while Ricky Shuford 35 and the dependable Anthony Ottley 14 carried the scoring for Rivers.
“It was a good game but it was one of the toughest game of the season for us mentally. I am really proud of the guys cause I was worried. They say they want to finish it off strong, they not going out like a loser. They are looking forward again to the next tournament in the summer” said Waves coach Rohan Robinson.
Ludlow Barker of the Rivers hopes to get another chance at coaching in the league. “I hope so cause I think if we gonna have the rosters and we can select some more of the players then if we can choose the kind of team we need then we will get a chance but if you have to play with those you are given then you have to work with it.”
League owner Wayne Dawkins was pleased while saying that the league was here to stay. “The level of talent we were able to attract down here was extremely high. Our coaching staff did a phenomenal job, our table staff and everybody else cause we really have to get that down in order to be able to scale and grow this thing and so that I was very pleased with.”