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Hawks fly all the way to Premier - Nov 24, 2016

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The Hawks resisted the Executive Air Dover Chargers to the very final seconds of Game 3 to truly earn their way to becoming Champions of the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association First Division League, taking the nail biting one point win 89-88.

The newly formed team are the babies of First Division but flew high throughout the tournament under the guidance of player coach Tremaine Shaw to take the title in their very first attempt and move on to the next level. Shaw expressed his feelings about the finals to The Barbados Advocate.

'Honestly I am really excited as for us it is a first time tournament. A lot of youngsters from out by me (Paddock Road, St. Michael), came out and everyone played big today. I am really thankful to God and everyone who came out to support us.'

The Hawks had to get past the Spartans in the Semi-Finals and took them down 2-1 but Shaw admitted that there was a point after the first game loss that he doubted if they could get it done.

'In the first series against Spartans, being the first game, we came out rusty and we got beaten and it was a shock to us. That was the only time I thought that we couldn't make it but after winning the second game by 20 points, I knew nothing could stop us from here.'

There was no doubt in the mind of Shaw but after a merciless three-point assault by Dover to end the first half, many in the Barbados Community College stands were wondering if they could recover. Dover's Seon Hillman hit four consecutive three's and then Jason Bowen hit three more to end the 2nd quarter to give their side a 46-40 halftime advantage.

There was some scrappy play throughout the first half by the Hawks and Dover seemed set to take them to task and carry home to trophy. But as it has been right through the season, the Hawks pulled together as a team to right the ship and sail home. Rommel Bynoe stepped up in the third to score 10 points. He and Shaquan Newton turned the tide of the game after being down 10, 56-46 midway through the third. The two combined for 9 points in 20 seconds to cut the deficit to 1, 56-55 as the crowd went wild in what could be considered one the best games of the playoffs. Hawks were back in the game and the third quarter ended tied at 65 all with the title at stake for just 10 more minutes.

The title would come down to a battle between Bowen of Dover and the combined efforts of the Hawks side. Bowen scored 6 consecutive points for Dover to match 6 points that Newton put up from the Hawks. Bowen shot the ball well in the fourth and also drove hard to hoop and earned some of his 12 fourth quarter points the hard way. But the Hawk would not be denied. Newton and Shaw scored 10 and 9 points respectively in the fourth to give their side the offensive push but it was the combined team effort on the defensive end including rebounds and key steals that led to an 89-82 score line with 14 seconds remaining. However, Bowen was not finished, he hit one more three followed by one by Godfrey Leacock which brought the game to 89-88 with 2.7 seconds left. It took wise thinking of the Hawks to inbound the ball and toss it the length of the court and by the time it landed the final whistle of the season sounded. Hawks had won the title.

Newton was stellar in the game with 28 points and Shaw added 21. Daniel Durant played a massive role marking the Dover big man Ryan Lewis in the paint and he finished with 10. Rommel Bynoe was the spark that Hawks needed for their resurgence and he walked away with 12 points and a championship for his effort. For Dover, Bowen scored 7 of his team's 15 three-pointers to amass 32 points in the game, his season's best. Leacock scored 23 while Hillman who left the game injured in the 4th ended the game, he and Lewis contributed 15 points each.

It was a long season for the First Division but after all the delays and frustrations, congratulations must go out to the Hawks for weathering the storm and taking home the title.
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Andre Springer   

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