The PJs Stingers and the Breezes High Flyers were winners on Friday night as the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) division one and division two best-of-seven championship series continued at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
The Stingers handed the Commonwealth Bank Giants their first loss of the season, winning 99-93, to even up their series at a game apiece. In division two, the defending champions High Flyers evened up the championship series at a game apiece when they took down the Your Essential Store (YES) Giants, 108-101, in a high-scoring affair.
The third games in both divisions are slated for tonight at the A.F Adderley Gymnasium.
Stingers 99, Giants 93
National team player Eugene Bain had a huge double-double with a game-high 37 points and 13 boards to lead the Stingers to a key 99-93 victory on Friday night, evening up the best-of-seven championship series at 1-1.
Bain had a lot of help from Salathiel “Donkey” Dean as he also finished with a double-double, recording 14 points and grabbing a game-high 22 boards.
Jeffrey Henfield put up 26 points in the loss.
The Stingers eclipsed the 44 percent mark from the field, and made 36 free throws in the game.
The Giants jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first quarter, connecting on three-pointers.
The Stingers then went on an 11-1 scoring run to go up 11-7 with 7:07 remaining in the first quarter. The quarter ended with the Stingers ahead, 28-20.
Henfield gave his team the lead with 7:35 remaining in the second quarter when he hit a huge three-pointer. The game went back and forth for the remainder of the second, but it would be the Stingers who would go into the half with the lead. They led 48-42 at the break.
A couple of free throws by the Stingers’ Devon Ferguson with 6:57 remaining in the third quarter gave them a double digit lead, 55-44.
The Stingers led by as much as 17 in the third quarter, their largest lead of the game, before the Giants closed to within 12, 72-60, at the end of three quarters.
Bain gave his team a 15-point cushion, converting on an and-one play, with 7:12 remaining in the fourth quarter.
A Jackson Jacob’s jump shot brought the Giants to within single digits. They trailed 90-81 with 3:37 remaining in the game.
Michael Bain split a pair of free throws with 52 seconds remaining in the game to bring the Giants within three points, 96-93.
However, they would get no closer the rest of the way, as the Stingers held on to win, 99-93.
The Giants attempted 50 three-point shots, and connected on 15 of them.
Game three is set for tonight, following game three of the division two championship game between the Your Essential Store Giants and the Breezes High Flyers.
High Flyers 108, Giants 101
The High Flyers used a huge first half to build momentum for the second, and then held on to put away the Your Essential Store (YES) Giants, 108-101, in game two of their best-of-seven championship series at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium on Friday night. The series is now tied at a game apiece.
By the end of the first half, the High Flyers were up by 20, 55-35.
Jeremy Neely and Dario Saunders scored 23 and 22 points respectively to pace the High Flyers. Adrian Thompson had a double-double with a game-high 32 points and 10 rebounds for the Giants.
It was all High Flyers in the first quarter as they used a 12-4 scoring run to go up 26-15. The Giants had a difficult time battling with the High Flyers early in the game. They fell behind by double digits early, and trailed 31-19 after one.
The High Flyers controlled the second quarter as well. They outscored their opponents, 24-16, to take a 55-35 lead at the half.
Neely hit a pair of free throws with 1:33 remaining in the second quarter to put his team ahead by 22 points, their largest lead of the game at the time. The score was 53-31 in favor of the High Flyers.
The High Flyers were in full control.
In the third quarter, the High Flyers continued to apply the pressure. They took a 23-point lead, their largest lead of the game, four minutes into the half. The score was 66-43 at that point.
The Giants never got closer than 17 points in the third, and trailed 81-60 going into the fourth.
The Giants got back in the game in the all-important fourth quarter. Anderias Black got them to within eight points, 91-83, with a lay-up in the lane.
Michael Bethel split a pair of free throws and the Giants got to within six points, 95-89, but they would get no closer the rest of the way.
The High Flyers held on to win 108-101 despite being outscored 41-27 in the final quarter.
It was all High Flyers in the paint as they held a 68-54 advantage in that area.
In addition to the points from Neely and Saunders, the High Flyers got 14 points from Justin Gardiner and 11 points from Dave Davis.
The Giants controlled the boards as they grabbed 65 rebounds compared to 45 for the High Flyers.
Out of those 65 rebounds, 40 were evenly distributed between Cormardo Seymour, Thompson, Black and Edwards Williams.