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Army marches past Police 99-89 in OT - Aug 2, 2018

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Defence Force forward Steven Lewis brought the excitement on the opening night of the Barry Stewart Invitational Basketball League, so too his opposing Police point guard Ronell Winter, but it was the army coastguard combination team that prevailing with an exciting 99-89 overtime win.

The Men's Premier Division match unfolded at the Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Chaguanas on Sunday. It was the feature match of four played on the night in three divisions to mark the Second edition of the league, which is being held in honour of Vibert 'Passay' Dean, a long-standing player whom the basketball fraternity lost in May.
It was a pretty even match from the jump with the police officers taking an early 26-22 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, Defence Force boosted by Lewis with support from Kensley Sandy (16) and Kerry McMillan (10) fought back and grabbed a four-point advantage at the halfway mark.

That lead was short-lived though as Police rallied back in the third period to go ahead by a narrow one point (62-61) as the teams continued to trade baskets into the fourth quarter.
Winter was fierce from beyond the three-point arc, connecting 10 in his match-high 33 points but it was the one he hit with two seconds left to play that was most critical as it levelled the scores at 85 to send the match into an extra five minutes of overtime play.

Police though lost some its lustre in the extra time, only adding four points to its total while Defence Force went on to dominate scoring 14 in that period, to emerge with the 10-point win.

Police had two other players scoring in double-figures including forward Wesley Vincent (19) and post-player Don Wilkinson 18 but in a losing effort.
Earlier in the other match in the top division, Straker Nets defeated Stories of Success (SOS) Basketball Academy, 81-75. Play got on the way after T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis did the jump ball.

SOS spurred on by twin brothers Ahkeem and Ahkeel Boyd made a huge comeback in the fourth and final quarter after being down by 20 points (67-47) at the end of the third period but it was not enough to overcome Starker.

Post-player Ashton Demurrell top-scored for the winner with 20 points and his teammate Triston Benjamin added 10 in the six-point win.

In the Under-19 Division match-up, led by Josiah James with 21 points, Grande Young Stars beat New Age Lions, 55-47 while in the U-15 category, Uthman Bilal (18) starred for 500 Hawks in their 47-34 win over Brian Chase Academy.

Also in attendance to witness the exciting matches were former national player Gerard Moore, who played at New Mexico State University under legendary coach Lou Henson. Moore of Point Fortin was an All American at Southeast Illinois College (SIC) and in 2008 was inducted into the SIC Hall of Fame. He also competed with Straker Nets in the past.

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