Mixed results for KC in all-island basketball finals

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

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Kingston College captured their first KFC/ISSA National Under-19 Schools' basketball title in over a decade after they turned back Knox College 57-47 in the final at the National Stadium courts yesterday.


However, the North Street-based school was unable to secure the double after they went down 54-61 to Munro College in the junior Under-16 final.


Clifton Jean led the Dennis Thompson-coached Kingston College in the senior final with a game-high 23 points and he was well supported by Damion Johnson with 21 points, 25 rebounds and seven steals.


Orlanzo Hall was the topscorer for Knox with 21 points and his best support came from Michael Johnson with 16 points, five steals and five assists.


Kingston College started brightly and cruised to a comfortable 16-8 lead after the first quarter.


The 'Purples' continued to have their way with the St Elizabeth opponents in the second quarter until the Oneil Watson-coached team found their rhythm towards the end of the period to close the gap to six points (29-23) at the half-time break.


After the interval, Knox continued their good play and went on to tie the score at 31 midway the third quarter.


But Kingston College regained the momentum towards the end of the period and re-established a six-point (39-33) advantage going into the last quarter.


In the final quarter, every time Kingston College appeared as though they would run away with the match, Knox clawed their way back into the contest.


And they were still in it with a little over two minutes remaining, as they trailed 44-49, but Kingston College hit another gear and stretched their lead to 10 points at the final whistle.


KC's coach, Thompson, said their victory was a testament to the new look basketball programme they have at the school.


"Knox fought well... they are like another KC, but only when you wear purple you come out on top," he boasted afterward.


His counterpart Oneil Watson thought his team gave themselves too much ground to make up.


"The first quarter we came out and made a lot of turnovers... and that came back to haunt us at the end," he said.


Earlier, in the Under-16 final, Munro College became the first rural area side to win the junior national title after they beat Kingston College for the crown.


Javier Charlton led the scoring for the Dwayne Clarke-coached team with a game-high 23 points, and good support came from Andrew Johnson with 22 points and Ahkeim Forbes with 12 points, 15 rebounds and nine steals.


Jamie-Hugh Brown was the topscorer for Kingston College with 15 points and seven steals and his best support came from Zachary McLeod with 12 points and 17 rebounds.


Winning coach, Clarke, said he was proud to lead his team to this historic achievement.


"This is the first time we are taking the Under-16 championship out of Kingston, so this is history and 30 years down the road these boys can look back and say, we were the first to do it," he stated.



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