Strikers take Game One!
It was a two-man show for the St. Cecilia’s Strikers yesterday afternoon. Stephen Humes and Ivoine Ingraham combined for 21 points to lift the Strikers to a Game One victory over the Our Lady’s Blue Flames. The 32-31 win gave the Strikers a one-game advantage in the best-of-three championship series in the Catholic Primary Schools basketball league.
Humes, who became the go-to man late in the game, closed with 10 points while Ingraham scored 11. The 21 points came at a perfect time. The Strikers were in a hole after missing eight consecutive free throws in the first quarter and another 10 in the second half. The Strikers’duo sat out the second quarter and returned in the third, sparking a 7-0 run. Humes opened the third with a baseline jumper which brought the team within seven. The Blue Flames inbounds pass was then picked off by Charles Rahming who found Ingraham on an outlet pass. Ingraham swung the ball to Humes who threw up a sky hook just before drawing a foul. Humes stepped to the line for a chance at a three-point play, but it was waved off by the referee due to a lane violation.
The Strikers applied a full court press that led to another turnover. Ingraham’s lay-up attempt rattled around the rim and eventually dropped out but the rebound went to Humes. Although his putback attempt was no good, the effort put him on the free throw line. The Strikers were down by two.
Their Head Coach Maurice Fawkes said: ”We came out a bit flat, a little shaky in the first half. We were a bit scared in the beginning. If we can settle down in the beginning of the game we would have a better showing. Our defense on number one(Deangelo Mackey)broke down in the first half. We just contain him and we have to do a better job of that. We started to pick it up late in the game, play good defense and lock him down.
“After the poor showing in the first half I told the team that they should hold their heads up because the game was far from over. We were down, but we still had a half to play. All they needed to do was settle down and play our game. If we play our style of basketball we could beat this team on any given day. We could beat them worse than we did today. We have to use our strengths, get the ball out. If we do that, we will have no problems.”
The Blue Flames turned to Deangelo Mackey on the offensive end. Mackey scored 21 points. Chipping in were Joel Johnson with eight and Enrique Forbes with four. Other scorers for the Strikers were Kristen Clarke and Rahming who had eight and four points respectively.
“We had a height disadvantage,”said Blue Flames’Head Coach Rohan Parks.”Our guys played hard down the stretch against such a big team. We just need to play better defense and stay with number 30, Stephen Humes. If we can contain him then we will definitely control the pace of the game.”
The Strikers are undefeated this season. The Blue Flames will get another opportunity to prove themselves on Friday when the second game will be played at the Loyola Hall on Gladstone Road. Tip-off is at 3:30 p.m.