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NEBL “In the Paint”

SportsNEBL “In the Paint”

Tiger Sharks serve notice with league-best 8th win of the season, following 70-65 win over Belize City No Limit

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Apr. 6, 2017–After winning back-to-back games over defending champs Smart Hurricanes and Cayo Western Ballaz on the weekend of March 25, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks this past weekend continued their late season charge by recording their league-best eighth win of the season; this time it was over Belize City No Limit, by the final score of 70-65, thereby putting the rest of the league on notice that this year’s championship will have to go through them.

Four Tiger Sharks scored in double figures, led by George Williams 17 points 5 rebounds 1 assist, Jamal Kelly 14 pts 1 asst, Ashton Edwards 14 pts 2 rebs 3 asst, and Raul Roches 11 pts 4 rebs 1 asst.  As a team, the Sharks shot a remarkable 47% from the field, hitting on 29 of 61 shots, obviously aided by the fact that a substantial percentage of their attempts were high percentage shots coming from inside the paint (36 points).  They rebounded the ball well, and capitalized on their opponents’ 20 turnovers, converting those turnovers into 19 points.

Belize City No Limit was respectable, hitting 26 of 63 attempts for a 41% clip, and while they played competitively throughout the game, could never really muster any sustained offensive run to overcome their 42-30 first-half deficit.  They got huge performances from Kyle Young, who recorded a double-double with 12 pts 10 rebs, followed by Kenny Brown 13 pts 7 rebs 1 asst.

The Tiger Sharks are at home tomorrow, as they host the (5-4) Dangriga Dream Ballers.  The latter, obviously, will be fighting to stay alive in the post-season hunt, while the former will be looking to avenge an early season loss they endured at the hands of these same Dream Ballers.

Dangriga Dream Ballers play Jekyll and Hyde last weekend, split back-to-back games

After winning a tough road match-up against the Cayo Western Ballaz last Friday night by the final score of 84-83, the Dream Ballers, on the final leg of back-to-back games, played Mr. Hyde on Saturday night, losing in disappointing fashion to the (2-6) Hurricanes by the final score of 78-69.  Their demise clearly was in the numbers; after committing just 15 turnovers on Friday night in Cayo, the Dream Ballers displayed recklessness with the ball on Saturday night, committing 28 turnovers.  Quinton Bowen, who continues to be immersed in a late season slump, unfortunately accounted for 7 of those turnovers.  Bowen’s nose dive, understandably, has become a concern for team management, particularly given the post-season proximity.  After averaging a double-double (15 ppg 11.2 rpg) for the first half of the season, Bowen has seen his stats line dwindle to a mere (7.5 ppg 7.0 rpg) in his last four games.  Ironically, his team has gone (2-2) in those games, evidently signifying that so goes Bowen, so goes the Ballers.

   Dillmore Conorquie totaled 16 pts 6 rebs 4 stls in the loss to the Hurricanes on Saturday night. “Mr. Consistency,” Tahj Wells, who had 19 pts 21 rebs 3 blks in the win against the Western Ballaz on Friday night, continued his dominant ways, totaling 14 pts 15 rebs, while Trevaughn Usher had his best game of the season, totaling 14 pts 10 rebs.  Meanwhile, for the Hurricanes, it was Brian White totaling 20 pts 13 rebs, followed by Glency Lopez, totaling 17 pts 4 rebs 4 asst 4 stls, and Akeem Watters 14 pts 6 rebs 2 asst.

   The Dream Ballers obviously did not approach their Saturday night home game match-up against the defending champs, Hurricanes, in the right frame of mind.  Instead of building on Friday’s win, they came into the game maybe too over-confident, so to speak, and thus may have let one slip away.  The implication of this loss is yet to be determined.

   In any event, on Friday it was Wells and Conorquie accounting for 38 of the Ballers’ 84 points, with both players scoring 19 each.  They were followed by Hyram Augustine 16 pts 2 rebs, and Akeem Trapp 10 pts 7 rebs 6 asst 3 stls.

   Cayo Western Ballaz had four players scoring in double figures, with Daniel Nolberto leading the way with 18 pts 2 rebs 1 asst, followed by Ray Cruz 15 pts 5 rebs 1 asst, Richard Troyer 14 pts 6 rebs 2 assts, and Elsworth Itza 11 pts 5 rebs 3 stls.  As a team, the Western Ballaz shot 36% from the field, and 53% from the charity strips.  They were out-rebounded, 60-49, and had 3 blocked shots, compared to the Dream Ballers’ 4.

   This weekend’s games have the (5-5) Western Ballaz hosting the (3-5) Running Rebels from Orange Walk, in essentially a do-or-die game for the latter.  Meanwhile, the (5-4) Dangriga Dream Ballers will be visiting the (8-2) Tiger Sharks, hoping to stay relevant in the playoffs picture.

Rebels without a clue:  Capital City meltdown; Bandits overcome 4th quarter deficit for 70-69 win.

 With about two minutes left in the 4th quarter of last Thursday night’s NEBL game played at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan, the Bandits showed a glimpse of the type of dominating basketball it is capable of playing at any given moment.

Trailing 67-62 with 2:03 left to go in the 4th quarter, the Bandits mounted an energized 8-2 run to put them permanently ahead, 70-69, in the waning moments of the game.  This run was sparked by 4 points from Stephen Williams, 2 points 1 steal 1 block from Richard Smith III, and 2 points from Farron Louriano.

On the other end of the spectrum, in what has become a familiar theme for the (3-5) Running Rebels, they once again collapsed at the finish line, thanks to poorly executed offensive and defensive schemes, costly turnovers and tired legs.  The Rebels finished with 17 turnovers, including a key one by Randy Usher with 43 seconds remaining and the Rebels ahead, 69-66.  This enabled the Bandits to call a timeout, and out of that timeout came the big dunk by Farron Louriano, which cut the Rebels lead to just one, 69-68.  After a held ball, the Bandits gained possession, and Stephen Williams was fouled on the ensuing play, to set the stage for his game-winning free throws.  Without any timeouts remaining, Roger Reneau of the Rebels then missed a desperation heave at the buzzer, as his team suffered its fifth loss of the season.

The Bandits were led by Farron Louriano 19 pts 13 rebs, and Stephen Williams 14 pts 4 rebs. Randy Usher had his best game of the season for the Rebels, totaling 19 pts 8 rebs, while his backcourt partner Roger Reneau totaled 15 pts 11 rebs 7 asst, followed by James Ewing 13 pts 13 rebs.

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