Sports

Jaguars repel challenge of Knights to retain title

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Granville Jaguars held off first-time finalists Montego Bay Cricket Club Knights to retain their National Basketball League-West 68-65 margin in the final at Montego Bay Cricket Club on Saturday evening.

The game lived up to its billing as Knights' late game charge just came up short when Granville Jaguars overturned a first-quarter deficit.

Both teams qualified for the national play-offs set to start soon.

Just two players scored in double figures for Granville Jaguars. Levar Rose led all scorers with 23 points and Dave Black, had 21 points, but the latter missed two free throws with 18 seconds that would have put the game out of the reach of Knights.

Knights led 19-13 after the first quarter, but Jaguars rallied in the second quarter and led by three points (35-32) at the half-time break. That lead however, was cut to just one (49-48) at the end of the third quarter.

Both teams had scoring runs in the fourth quarter as Granville started the fourth quarter with a 7-1 run in the first two-and-half minutes, but Knights responded with a seven-to-two run of their own to cut the deficit to one point (58-57) with under five-and-a-half minutes left in the game.

The margin stayed at three points for the final two minutes and 35 seconds of the game as Knights' Jhaun Bryan missed the second of two free throws that would have cut the lead to two points with 50 seconds to go, while Black missed two free-throws with 18 seconds left on the clock.

Leroy Lawrence also had eight points for Granville and 10 rebounds, while Brendan Dawkins came off the bench to score eight points. Cleon Morgan and Ryan Harrison both scored four points and had seven rebounds.

Ralique Grant and Karlington Barrett both scored 14 points for Knights, Bryan had 11 points and five rebounds, Ryan Gardner had eight points and 14 rebounds, while Antonio Spence scored eight points and nine rebounds.

— Paul Reid

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