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David Edole

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U.S. Virgin Islands Basketball (Men)

Hoyas Spoils Boys Dem Bid for Undefeated Season - Jul 31, 2010


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DAVID EDOLE
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The defending champion Hoyas took one on the chin and lived to talk about it after defeating the previously undefeated Boys Dem, 78-73, in front of a packed Ronald Charles gymnasium Wednesday night in the final game of the New Breed Basketball Association regular season.
Easily the most anticipated contest of the regular season, the teams' performances on Wednesday were well worth the price of admission. They were like two heavyweight fighters standing in the middle of the ring, slugging it out , trying to see who would be first to succumb to the others will.
In the end the experience of the four-time defending champion Hoyas proved to be the difference late in the fourth quarter.
Both teams came out with a lot of nervous energy and very caught up in the moment. It would take over two minutes for the leagues two most prolific offenses to score a single point. Boys Dem was first on the board, opening with a 5-0 run to the take the early lead. It would take the champs over four minutes to score, and when they did it was on a 13-0 run to grab the lead at 13-5. Boys Dem responded with a 6-3 run to end the first quarter trailing by five at 16-11.
Led by Terrel Christians nine points early in the second period, Boys Dem was able to outscore the Hoyas 21-16 to take the lead at 32-31 moments before halftime. However, the Hoyas' Karl Jones was fouled on a made basket and he calmly sank the free throw to give his team a two point-lead at the half, 34-32.
In a game of runs, it was Boys Dem turn at the start of the second half as they opened with an 11-2 run to take a seven point lead at 43-36, but back came the Hoyas with a 7-0 run and the game was all squared at 43.
The Hoyas found themselves down by four at 53-49 as the third period wound down and they again responded, this time with a 10-1 run to take the lead 59-54 after three bruising quarters.
The Hoyas had a scary moment in the third as they and fans alike held their collective breath when their top rebounder and defensive player, Kurt Tennis Man John, went down with an apparent knee injury. John was down for a while writhing in pain. He was eventually able to get up and leave the court, but would return later to be a force to reckon with down the stretch.
Just as they did in the third quarter, Boys Dem opened on a run that propelled them into the lead once again. With the majority of the huge crowd cheering them on, they outscored the Hoyas 16-5 to grab a 70-64 lead at the five-minute mark. But, they just could not deliver that knockout blow and led by seven points from Darnell Hendrickson in a 9-0 spurt, the champs stormed back to lead 73-70 with 1:40 left on the game clock.
Boys Dem tied the game at 73 on a free throw by Wilson Ferrance and a put-back by Zomari Swanston with 1:25 to go, but that would be the last of their good scoring opportunities because the Hoyas defense would shut them out the rest of the way.
On the other hand the Hoyas closed out the game on a 5-0 run to take the game and the number one seed in the playoffs by a score of 78-73.
Hendrickson led the Hoyas with a team-high 18 points that included 5 of 5 from the charity stripes. The Hoyas also got 15 points from Karl john and 13 apiece from Kori Vialet and Omari Applewaite, another key Hoya player who had to leave with an elbow injury. Kurt John only scored seven points for the Hoyas offensively but he was a monster on the boards on both ends of the court. The Tennis Man, as he is affectionately called, grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds while swatting away four shots and altering countless others. The man for Boys Dem was Christian who finished with a game-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high 15 boards. Wilson Ferrence was the only other player in double figures as he finished with 15 points in a losing cause.

By Dave Davis July 29, 2010   



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