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All-stars surprise Knights in WBA Elite League opener

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Former champions Catherine Hall All-stars took a surprise 1-0 lead over number-one ranked Cricket Club Knights with a 76-68 scoreline in Game One of the Western Basketball Association Elite League best-of-three finals at Montego Bay Cricket Club on Sunday.

Vaughn Corke came off the bench to score a double-double 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Michael Schloss scored a season-high 39 points to lead Catherine Hall to victory, some 24 hours after they knocked out defending champions Granville Jaguars, winning that semi-final series 2-1.

Cricket Club Knights, who finished at the top of the point's tables, must win Game two come Saturday if they are to extend the finals to a third game.

Interestingly, Cricket Club Knights had two wins over Catherine Hall All-Stars in the regular season, one by default, with victories in their previous nine games, including their 2-0 best-of-three semi-final win over Holland Saints, coming into the first game of the final on Sunday.

It was Catherine Hall, feeding off their big 20-point win the previous night, who were able to impose themselves on Sunday and after a slow start, took over the lead at 14-13 after two straight baskets from Schloss.

They then extended that lead to 20-16 after the first quarter and that four-point lead then became a 10-point gap 43-33 at half-time. Catherine Hall even went up by over 20 points at one point in the third quarter before a rally by Cricket Club reduced the deficit back to a 10-point gap at 61-51 at the end of the third.

Schloss and Corke combined for 52 of Catherine Hall's points, while Jermaine Rerrie got 12 rebounds as Goyan Malcolm scored six points, seven rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.

Omroy Kerr led Cricket Club with 21 points and had eight rebounds, while Antonio Spence scored 15 points and Jhaun Bryan scored 11 points and had nine rebounds.

On Saturday, Catherine Hall came from a game down to beat Granville Jaguars 2-1 in their best-of-three semi -final, winning the third and decisive game by 20 points, 79-59 at the Cricket Club courts.

Saturday's game was a big blow out win for Catherine Hall, who also took Game two by four points, after Granville had earlier topped Game one by a mere point.

Led by a game-high 23 points from Schloss, Catherine Hall got off to a fast start and controlled the game against Granville, who lost four of their last five games after winning the first 12.

Catherine Hall led in double-digits after the first quarter 22-10 and increased their advantage to 14 points at half-time 43-29, before pushing further ahead to 60-41 going into the fourth quarter.

Odane Whittaker scored 14 points to support Schloss and Malcolm scored 13 points, while Rerrie had 12 rebounds. Corke had 10 as well as six assists.

Leroy Lawrence had a double-double for the third-straight game with 16 points and 14 rebounds for Granville, with David Gordon scoring 13 points and Levar Rose scored 10 points.