Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Top seed MoBay Cricket Club Knights justified their status as favourites to lift the Hi-Lyte Insports Western Basketball crown, downing Savannah J-Hawks 85-62 on Sunday to set up a finals showdown against Boys Club Warriors, who had scored a surprise 63-51 semi-final victory over Trelawny Tornadoes a day earlier.
The Warriors, who started the postseason ranked eighth, had shooting guard Sheldon Lyle to thank, as he led all scorers during a magnificent performance to end with a game-high 39 points.
Lyle single-handedly carried the Warriors on his shoulders and was also a force in defence, holding on to nine rebounds, while dishing out two assists. Fabian Gifford chipped in with a useful eight points, as the Warriors rallied from a first-quarter deficit to lead 24-19 at the half-time break.
Tornadoes were tagged heavy favourites, but failed to make their superior shooting talent count on the night when it mattered most. Star player Antoniel Watson, who was their best player against the Avalanche in the quarter-final, was their top player again, pulling down 15 rebounds to add to his 17 points and five blocks. Andrew Parkinson was also monumental in defence for the Warriors, grabbing 20 rebounds.
On Sunday, Jamoi Richards, the pint-size guard for Knights, showed just why his team is ranked the best in the west, as he led them with 25 points. Omroy Kerr tallied 15 and Lemar Mitchell 13 in their victory bid.
The Knights dominated from tip-off, but were down a deuce after the first 10 minutes. However, they blasted past the Hawks with 23 points in the second quarter to take a 40-27 lead after the second period.