Sports — 08 February 2017 — by Bernard Wagner
NEBL “In the Paint”

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 6, 2017 – – It must have felt like forever for the defending champs Hurricanes to finally secure their first win of the season; and understandably so, given the fact that during last year’s championship run, they were essentially immune to losing streaks, never once suffering back to back losses, while coasting to a league best 16 wins 3 loss campaign, inclusive of post season play. So it was a sort of enigma for team management and coaching staff to see their team be immersed in early season mediocrity at (0-2), albeit very early in the campaign.

In any event, whatever it was, whether it be the home cooking, or simply the atmosphere which the new SCA auditorium provided, the Hurricanes, with their play, undoubtedly demonstrated that you should never underestimate the heart of a champion.


Defending champs Hurricanes secure first win of season with 86-77 win over Western Ballaz


Led by Leroy Louriano 22 pts 4 rebs and 6 assts, Akeem Watters 18 pts 12 rebs 1 asst 5 stls, and Andrew White 16 pts 6 rebs, the Hurricanes pounced early on the Ballaz, jumping out with 10 unanswered points and finishing the quarter with the 26-12 lead. The Ballaz, however, were able to regroup in the second and third quarters, outscoring the Hurricanes 45-33 behind Darwin “Puppy” Leslie 23 pts 3 rebs 4 assts 2 stls and James Milton 17 pts 5 rebs 1 asst 2 stls, whilst pulling within two-points of the Hurricanes, 59-57. This lead was extended by the Hurricanes to four in early fourth quarter play, behind a steal and an ensuing jump shot by Leroy Louriano. James Milton of the Ballaz responded rapidly with a layup of his own to bring his team again within two. The fourth quarter was a sort of grind-out quarter, with neither team being able to put away the other. As a matter of fact, the game was only a narrow four-point lead for the Hurricanes, 81-77, with 1:19 seconds remaining in regulation. However, critical turnovers and key missed opportunities spelled misfortune for the visiting Cayo Ballaz, as they fell by the final score of 86-77.

The Hurricanes appeared much quicker than the Ballaz tonight, beating them soundly in fast break points, 21 to 8, and in the paint, 54 to 36. In addition, the Ballaz struggled from the field, shooting at a 38% clip, while the Hurricanes shot a remarkable 55%. Both teams were horrible from beyond the arc at 22% and 25%, respectively. The rebounding edge went to the Hurricanes, 47-39, while the other key offensive and defensive categories were a mirror of each other.

Both teams now stand with identical records of (1-2), and both go on the road this coming weekend.

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