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Spartans, Legends set for exciting Game Three

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

SPANISH Town Spartans got past defending champions Majesty Legends 75-73 in a nail-biting finish to win game two in the best-of-three semi-finals of the 2019 Sports Development Foundation (SDF)/National Integrity Action (NIA) Howard McCatty Community Basketball Championship at Majesty Courts on Sunday night.

The win enabled Spartans to level the series 1-1, with the deciding Game Three scheduled to be played this evening at Thompson Park Court in Spanish Town, starting at 7:00 pm.

In game one, Legends won 70-68 and today's decider could reproduce anolther ding-dong battle.

On Sunday, the winning shot in final seconds of the game was brilliantly executed by Swayveon Henry, which broke the 73-73 deadlock to give the Spanish Town-based aggregation the close and exciting victory.

There was, however, some among supporters from home team Majesty Gardens who argued that the clock had run on Spartan before the basket was made.

Spartans had the better of the champions in the first quarter and gained a 12-6 lead before the losers closed quickly at 12-11 with a three-pointer. The trio of Damion Johnson, Phillip Reid and Remeash Brown kept up the scoring for the Spartans, who went into the break leading 22-18.

Legends continued their poor shooting in the second half, but rallied to cut the deficit from 27-20 to 29-26. Spartans had the home team struggling to keep up with their fast breaks, better combinations, and scoring to go into the half-time break leading 42-37.

Legends tried desperately in the third quarter to get on even terms with Spartans, who continued to outscore the home team who trailed 44-51. Midway, Legends stepped up and got into their rhythm and composure and were scoring quickly through Baldon Todd, Havando Dunn and Jermaine Brown, as they closed in at 59-57 at the final break.

It was a keen contest in the fourth and final quarter, as both teams went for quick baskets.

The scores were tied 59-59, and again locked at 63-63 with five minutes remaining. Spartans, however, had crafted an advantage going up 68-63.

Legends then quickly cut Spartans' lead to two points (68-66) through a three-pointer from Brown. Mike Davis equalled the scores 68-68 for Legends when he scored from a field pass with two minutes remaining.

From then, players from both teams went all out with their hustle, the game wide open at this stage. Legends then hit a three-pointer to go up 71-68, but Spartans made a quick reply with a basket to close in 71-70. Spartans made 71-71 from the free throw line with 55 seconds on the clock.

With just a few seconds remaining, Brown put Legends up 73-71 before Spartans hit back to level 73-73. Spartans gained a throw in from a foul with one second remaining. The ball was thrown deep and high over the defence inside the shooting key, where Henry collected and sank to give his team the thrilling 75-73 win.

The principal scorers for Spartans were Johnson with 19 points and 15 rebounds, Reid 13 points, and Remeash Brown with 12 points. For Legends, Todd scored 24 points, Brown 20 points, and Dunn 15 points.

— Gerald Reid