Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Both the Montego Bay Cricket Club Knights and Boys Club Warriors will be short-handed when they meet in the pivotal Game Two in the best-of-three finals of the Hi-Lyte Insports Western Conference Basketball Championship this evening, after players from both teams were suspended after the first game.
Warriors will be missing their guard Sheldon Lyle and Andrew Parkinson and Knights' three-point specialist Omroy Kerr has also been suspended. The suspensions were handed out following an altercation after last week's 60-55 win by Knights in Game One.
Kerr and Parkinson have been suspended for the rest of the season and will face disciplinary action from the Western Basketball Association.
"It's a big loss for this team, because Lyle in particular has been our leading scorer in most of our games. He is definitely one of our better players on game nights, so we are really hurting on that one," said Warriors coach Maurice Smith.
Parkinson, Lyle deliver
Parkinson, meanwhile, was the Warriors' top scorer in Game One, leading his team with 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots, and Lyle added 14 points before putting the ball out the court, after not getting a foul call from the referees. Lyle was ejected from the game, drawing the one-game suspension.
"Parkinson will be missed surely, because he is a good rebounder, as he did in the opening game, and he gives presence inside, so adjustments will have to be for Game Two. We will give it our all and play hard basketball and hope that we will come out on top," reasoned Smith.
Knights' overall game will be slowed with Kerr's absence, but head coach Sheldon Pearson believes he has enough depth in his squad to fill the void.
He will be calling on schoolboy Tevin Brown to do just that, noting that Brown is an adequate and capable replacement.
"It will affect us a bit; but we have a good replacement here," said Pearson. "The experience will be missed but in Brown we have good coverage."
Brown captains the Cornwall Collage Under-19 team and, according to Pearson, will give of his best while on the court.
Game Two of the final will precede the 5 o'clock third-place playoff between Sav J-Hawks and Trelawny Tornadoes. Both games will be played at the Montego Bay Cricket Club court.