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Western basketball champs set sights on all-island crown

Published:Wednesday | February 5, 2020 | 12:20 AMKavarly Arnold/ Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau :

After winning their sixth consecutive ISSA Western Conference Basketball Under-16 and Under-19 titles, Herbert Morrison Technical High now look towards the all-island competition, which is set to begin on February 10.

The Under-16s shook off the early-week scares and disappointment to clinch best of the three final series 2-1 at the Montego Bay Cricket Club Court last Friday with a comprehensive 63-43 win over St James High. They won the first game 86-81 after double overtime and lost 61-55 in the second.

The Under-19 team completed a 2-0 series sweep over York Castle High on Wednesday at the same venue. They won 60-35 and 74-59 in the first and second games, respectively.

Coach of Herbert Morrison, Dave Black, who last won the all-island Under-19 title in 2018, is hoping they can execute their game plan well against tougher opposition.

“We knew the team we had put together was good enough to win the western title very easily. We are looking forward to the all-island where the real competition will be because that’s our aim all along,” said Black while speaking about the chances of the senior team.

Turning to the Under-16s, he said: “Come the all-island, it’s just for these guys to focus for the full 40 minutes. Coming into this western final, I knew we were 15-20 points better than St James High, and today we executed so we just have to play at that level every time we touch the court. This set of guys placed third in Under-14s last year so we are just looking to better that,” he added.

Omar Taylor, coach of St James High, was a bit disappointed in getting so close to their first Under-16 title and not taking the trophy home, but he said he is looking forward to the privilege of playing the all-island competition.

“All-Island is always a privilege because it’s the best of the best, the cream of the crop. We are just going to take it one step at a time. We are not going to predict the outcome, we are just going to take every game as a final and see what happens from there,” Taylor said.