Jam­rock­ers top Classic

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Liv­ingston Scott Gleaner Writer

GUYANA JAGUARS’ coach, Mark Agard, has heaped praise on the Ja­maica na­tional bas­ket­ball team, the Jam­rock­ers, af­ter the lo­cal play­ers de­feated the vis­i­tors 82-67 in the fi­nal of the Jam­rock­ers Classic at the Na­tional In­door Sports Cen­tre on Mon­day night.

Agard said the Jam­rock­ers are play­ing at a “top level” and that com­pet­ing against the Ja­maica team was a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Lyn­ford Brown with 22 points led the lo­cal­based team which com­prised one over­seas-based player in Richard Sta­ple. Brown was sup­ported by Ke­mar McLeish with 16 points. Stan­ton Rose was the vis­i­tors’ top scorer with 16 points and eight re­bounds. Good con­tri­bu­tions also came from Ter­ron Welsh with 15 points, and Akeen Kan­hai and Nikoloi Smith with 12 each.

“This is a de­vel­op­men­tal pro­gramme for us and prob­a­bly Ja­maica,” Agard told The Gleaner. “We are just look­ing to pick up the pieces as Ja­maica has a great pro­gramme and we came to learn from them. We want to con­tinue get­ting these types of com­pe­ti­tions, so we can be a bet­ter team in the future for CARICOM cham­pi­onships.”

The Jam­rock­ers were the bet­ter team through­out the fi­nal and they held a 15-11 lead af­ter the first quar­ter and were com­fort­ably ahead 35-24 at the half-time break. The home team con­tin­ued to over-run their op­po­nent in the third pe­riod, tak­ing the quar­ter 27-15 to lead 62-39 go­ing into the fi­nal stanza.

The Ro­han Robin­son-coached team took their foot off the ac­cel­er­a­tor in the last pe­riod and the Guyanese took the quar­ter 28-20. How­ever, they still lost by 15 points.

Robin­son said the team took some time to gel but in the fi­nal they came to­gether.

“In the first game, we were play­ing mainly an in­di­vid­ual game ... but I was pleased with the fi­nal per­for­mance. I didn’t like how we closed the game, so we still have some se­ri­ous work to do,” he said.

In the night’s other game Lib­er­tyville Vipers, with 14 points 11 re­bounds, nine steals and eight as­sists from Mike Skin­ner, de­feated the Ja­maica Un­der-21 team 63-61. Ron­aldo McKen­zie was the Un­der-21s top scorer with 14 points and six re­bounds.

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