By Neto Baptiste
Defending Division One playoff champions, Flyers Basketball, were beaten in game one of their best of three semifinal series against Northside Stingerz when they clashed in the feature match of a double header on Tuesday night.
Playing at the JSC basketball court, Stingerz led throughout the game, at one instance, by at least 20 points, as they went on to claim a 65-57 victory.
Vivian Destin led the charge for Stingerz with 23 points and six rebounds while James Barbee Jr. assisted with 18 points. There was a huge defensive effort from Moriba Defreitas who grabbed 25 rebounds.
One member of the Stingerz management team, Doyle Carter, said the victory could have been bigger but that his team may have relaxed a bit in the end.
“If you were watching the game you’d really see what happened, because to me personally, the guys realized they had the game, and they sort of took their foot off the gas and that’s how I really saw it watching the game. They really weren’t playing with the intensity towards the end, I guess maybe they are trying to save themselves for the next game,” he said.
National player, Sharife Sargeant, was Flyers’ best scorer on the night with 18 points, while Selassie Brathwaite sank 16 points.
Losing coach, George Hughes, made no excuses for his team’s loss, downplaying the notion that they struggled without key players Torey Fassett and Kenya Ahcom.
“We have to play because the game is scheduled to be played. We had an unfortunate circumstance and the guys just have to understand that the game has to be played. I don’t think it’s hard, we just have to adopt. I saw a lot of positives last night [Tuesday] that we can basically build from, so it was not a complete loss,” the coach said.
Meanwhile, in another huge match up, multiple-times champions, F&G Trading Cuties Ovals Ojays, edged Potters Steelers 74-68 in game one of their semifinal series, also at JSC.
Joshua Minner led Ojays’ scoring with 23 points while picking up eight rebounds. He was assisted by Jermaine Bolden and Bryan Matthew with 16 and 15 points respectively.
Matthew, a veteran national and Ojays player, said he was not satisfied with their performance despite the six-point victory.
“Last night [Tuesday] I don’t think we were as clinical in certain aspects of the game because we had a good lead and let them get back in the game when what we needed to do was keep our poise, keep our focus when we had that lead and try to stretch it some more,” he said.
Kareem Edwards, Jacob Lloyd and Kebo Orford all had 11 points in losing efforts for Potters Steelers. Game two in both series are scheduled for Thursday at the same venue.