Knights slay Jaguars in Western Conference basketball

Saturday, February 24, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Montego Bay Cricket Club Knights stunned defending champions Granville Jaguars, scoring a nail-biting one-point (68-67) win in their first round National Basketball League-Western Conference game at the Montego Bay Cricket Club on Thursday.

Despite a game and season-high 30 points from Jaguars' Dave Black, Cricket Club jumped out to a double digit (23-12) lead after the first quarter then fought doggedly for the next three quarters to hold off the defending champions.

The win was Cricket Club's fourth-straight to start the season, while Granville were losing for the first time and fell to 3-1.

Two more games will be played today at Cricket Club with Inner-City Avalanche, the only team yet to win a game, facing Cornwall Courts Chargers in the first encounter set to start at 4:15 pm. That will be followed by Catherine Hall All-Stars vs Holland Saints two hour later.

On Thursday, Cricket Club Knights led by 11 points (23-12) after the first quarter, but Granville rallied in the second quarter to cut the deficit to five points, trailing 31-36 and the margin remained the same as they played out a 13-13 draw in the third quarter for a 49-44 lead by Knights.

Granville's surge continued in the fourth quarter where they outscored Knights 23-19, but came up one point short of forcing extra time.

Rayon Gardner had a double-double to lead Knights to their big win, scoring 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds along with eight steals, Jermaine Allwood scored 19 points while Antonio Spence scored 12 points.

In addition to Black's 30 points, Tafari Vassell scored 11 points and had 16 rebounds for Granville and Peter Reid grabbed 11 rebounds in a losing cause.

— Paul Reid

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