West Gunners & Splash Brothers Reach Basketball League Final

Photo courtesy of VINO

Photo courtesy of VINO


West Gunners have booted defending champions Bayside Blazers out of the 3rd edition of the Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed National Basketball League and will be playing Splash Brothers in the League Championship.

The Gunners prevailed 97-80 in a hard fought game 2 to win the West Division Championship on Saturday October 31, 2015 at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom.

Splash Brothers won the Eastern Division Championship with a 80-74 points over Knights in game 2 also on Saturday.

Parillon comes big in losing effort

Faced with a revamped defensive tactical plan, the Gunners had cause for concern into the second half, but it would soon prove to be putting too much pressure on draft pick and former college player Steve E. Parillon to carry the Blazers offensively, especially once Dione M. Blyden went quiet.

Parillon opened the scoring with a 3-pointer and was hot all night until the final period, ending up with 27 points and 9 rebounds.

Bjorn Caleb notched 21 points with 16 rebounds, Ray D. Victor had 26 points with 7 assists, Rowan Victor finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 7 steals and Demoi Hodge 24 points, including 8 in a crucial final quarter after hitting 13 in the first period and only totaling 4 in the second and third periods.

Keenly contested first half

The first quarter had ended 29-24 to the Gunners with Hodge and Rowan Victor responding to the early lead taken by the Blazers, courtesy of Parillon and Blyden.

Blyden ended with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 steals. During one period the Gunners had been 7 points ahead but Sekayi J. Petersen soon reduced the gap to just 3, combining with Shaquille T. Fonseca on a series of scores before West Gunners hit back through Hodge, the Victor brothers and Caleb.

Sandy E. Nadal, who finished with just 5 points and little playing time throughout the game, notched a “3” to bring the Blazers a little way back into the game, but closing the gap seemed almost impossible for the Blazers who were always playing catch up.

Ray D. Victor went 2/2 from the free throw line, Jahmarli James rolled in another two and a big block by Caleb on Jamiez A. J. Stoutt seemed to knock the wind out of the Blazers early in the second quarter. However, Parillon battled away, splashed another long range effort and powered his way into the paint to score again, reducing the deficit to 5 points, where it stayed until just after half way through the quarter.

Then with 3 minutes remaining until half time, the difference was just one point.

Parillon missed both attempts from the free throw line which would have given the Blazers the lead. Petersen also missed a field goal attempt to do likewise, but Blyden made no mistake and scored to put the defending champs up 44-42, with a “3” and two minutes left on the clock. The Gunners leveled with 1:26 on the clock and the Victor brothers combined on an intercept to make it 46- 44. Petersen leveled it at 46-46. The Gunners responded with a field goal to make it 48-46, but the game Parillon notched another “3” to put his side up 49-48 at the half time whistle.

Gunners press on

The Gunners were soon back in front early in the third quarter, but the lead switched back and forth as no team was able to put a scoring streak together. It was all square with just over six minutes to play and another Parillon “3” made it 57-55 to the Blazers with 5:41 left.

Petersen added another score to equal the biggest lead for the Blazers since the first quarter and Shaquille Fonseca then gave them their biggest lead of the game, 4 points, which was extended to six points, before Caleb and Ray Victor reduced the gap to just 2 points with 2 minutes to play.

Parillon notched his fifth “3” to re-open the lead to five points at 64-59, but Ray Victor went 2/2 with free throws to make it 64-61 inside last 60 seconds. A Technical Foul saw Blyden make it 65-61, Ray Victor splashed a “3” to make it 65-64 and then the same player stole to score and the Gunners scored again after Lyle W. Duggins was caught in possession to reach the final break 69-65 ahead.

The Gunners were still ahead by four points after two minutes of the fourth quarter but then Blyden reduced it to a two point game. Hodge went 1/ 2 from the free throw line to make it a three point game. Rowan Victor netted 2/2 to make it 74-69 with 7 minutes left, Ray matched that to make it 76-79 and then Rowan stripped the ball from Blyden and scored to make it 78-69.

Fonseca made it a 7 point game from the free throw line, but Hodge responded with a driving run and scored and Caleb scored to make it 82-71 into the last five minutes of the game. Rowan Victor scored either side of another Parillon effort to make it 86-73, Fonseca made it 86-75, but Hodge, not to be outdone, increased the lead to 13 points with a field goal with just three minutes left.

Hodge then drew a foul as he scored to make it 90-75 with 2:22 left.

Goodbye Blazers!

Petersen added a two, but Ray D. Victor would have the last laugh as he scored again with the crowd on their feet, singing “good byeee” and it was all over.

Hodge and Parillon exchanged “3’s”  (Parillon’s 5th ), the final score, 97-80 and the rejoicing had begun, albeit only until next week, when the West Gunners face Splash Brothers for the 2015 Hon Julian Fraser Save the Seed League Championship.

Western Division MVP, Ray D. Victor was quick to praise his team and the Blazers for a tough Divisional Championship series.

“It’s a great win and I feel extremely happy, but the journey is not over yet and the rejoicing will be short lived. The Blazers are a great team and they played a hard game. They are a smart team with smart coaches and their tactics tonight shocked us. They changed things around and made us think for the first couple of quarters. My brother Rowan was so aggressive and that’s the reason I wanted him to play for us, oh my gosh, he is our best player. Hodge was a little off tonight, but I told him to keep going and he came up big when it mattered at the end.”

Splash Brothers overcome Knights

In the Eastern Division Championship, Splash Brothers made a clean sweep of Knights by winning game 2, 80-74.

MVP Shamoii A. Dagou led the way with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists while Charlesworth George knocked in 19 points, Ashfield Frett 17 with 16 rebounds and Travis Issac 15 with 13 rebounds.

Jevon K. Serrant had a game high 26 points for Knights.