South Conference quarter-finals take spotlight
Defending champion Arnett Gardens Rockers tipped off the National Integrity Action (NIA) Southern Conference quarter-final play-offs at the Tony Spalding Complex on Friday with a thrilling 108-103 double overtime win over Portmore Flames to take a 1-0 lead in their three match series.
Kwame Lawrence, with 35 points and nine rebounds, and Vivian Spence, with 24 points, led the way for the Rockers, who led 25-15 after the first period and 45-34 at the half. The third quarter barely separated the teams, with Portmore taking the quarter 25-23 to trail 68-59 going into the last quarter.
Then in the last stanza, Flames produced a remarkable comeback, and they outscored their opponent 25-14 to tie the game at 82-82 and send the game into overtime. The first period of overtime also failed to separate the teams as 13 points apiece same them tied at 95-95. But Arnett was too good for their opponent in the second over-time and took the period 13-8 for a 108-103 victory.
Meanwhile, Pembroke Hall, Spanish Town Spartans, and the JDF also took a 1-0 lead in their series.
Number-one seed Pembroke Hall defeated G.C. Foster 79-73 with 27 points from Andrew Whilby and 20 from Anthony Farquharson. G.C. Foster's Lynford Brown was the game's top scorer with 32 points.
Spartans were easy 86-61 winners over Real Lions thanks to Javon Bailey's 19 points, Brian Martin's 16 points and 17 rebounds, and Damian Johnson's 16 points. Osmond Farquharson top-scored for Lions with 14 points.
In the other game, the JDF also eased past Exed Heats 72-59. Dermaine Foster and Raymi Franklyn led the soldiers with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Exed's Cordell Grant produced a game-high 22 points and Garrick Allen 12 points in their losing effort.
All the teams were schedule to contest game two of their three-game series last night.