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Herbert Morrison, Camperdown in all-island title showdown

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Friday, March 02, 2018

Camperdown High will be going after the double today when they play in both finals of the ISSA boys basketball finals at the National Arena in Kingston.

Camperdown High will face unbeaten Western Conference champions Herbert Morrison Technical in the Under-19 final, set to start at 4:00 pm after facing Jamaica College in an all Southern Conference Under-16 final.

Four games will be played today, including the third-place play-offs for both sections with Calabar High and Campion College meeting in the Under-16 consolation final in the first game set for 10:00 am. This to be followed by an all Central Conference play-off in the Under-19 section between Christiana High and Manchester High.

In the Under-19 section, Herbert Morrison ran their perfect win record to 20 games on Wednesday when they beat Manchester High 60-49 in one semi-final at the Montego Bay Cricket Club, while Camperdown High defeated Christiana High 51-41 in the other semi-final in Kingston.

The Dave Black-coached Herbert Morrison won all 14 games in the regular season in the Western Conference, the semi-final game and both games in the best-of-three final.

They then won both national quarter-final games, upsetting Calabar High 64-55 last Friday, and got by Belair High 80-53 on Monday before beating Manchester High on Wednesday to qualify for today's final — their third overall.

On Wednesday, Brendan Dawkins led all scorers with 27 points despite battling a stomach bug earlier in the day and being dehydrated in the game that started at 2:00 pm.

Herbert Morrison trailed Manchester High by double digits in the first half, but Black told the Jamaica Observer after the game they made adjustments.

“In the second half (our) defence stepped up, we started to force Manchester High to shoot and we started attacking on the fast break,” he said. “It's always great to be in the all-island final playing the last game of the season,” Black added.

Manchester High, who topped Zone Three in the three team quarter-final play-offs, had the better start on Wednesday and led 21-13 after the first quarter. but the 'home' team rallied in the second quarter, took the lead 27-23 after a 14-2 run and led by one point (31-30) at half-time.

Manchester rallied briefly in the third quarter and the teams were tied at 36-36 with just over five minutes to go before Herbert Morrison took over and outscored them 19-8 for the remainder of the game.

David Gordon and Alek Gilchrist both had double doubles for Herbert Morrison to support Dawkins.

Gordon scored 13 points and had 20 rebounds, while Gilchrist had 12 points and 21 rebounds as well as seven blocked shot, four coming in the final quarter.

Rojae Graham scored 14 points to lead Manchester High, while Janeal Brown got nine points.