Tournament semis bring out talent

Good ball protection by Andrae’s Athletic League (orange) as Courtney Young (right) attempts to go for the ball for St. Michaels (purple). St. Michaels defeated AAL 39-31.
Photo by C. Gottlieb
Photo by C. Gottlieb

It was the 4th of July fireworks all over again in Brooklyn on Sept. 10, as the semi-finals of the Tropical Limousine Service Basketball Tournament by Marlon Whatley continued after being delayed for two weeks because of hurricane Irene and the Labor Day Weekend.

The day started off with a heated Junior High School battle between Andrae’s Athletic League and St. Michael’s Youth Sector. Kevin Doublin’s amazing ability to connect from behind the three-point line helped to propel St. Michael’s Youth Sector to a 39 to 31 win.

For the High School division, AAL and Harvest advanced to the finals, comfortably beating U-Champions and Enyfa Eagles. Coach Phillip White of team Harvest in an interview with Caribbean Life attributed his win to his team’s discipline and is looking forward to facing AAL in the finals.

The Open Division (18 & up) did not for one second disappoint its spectators. Some of the highlights came when 16-year-old Isaiah Thomas who played in the Open Division number 26 of H Block took the game into his own hands to hit two back to back, three pointers and two steals, which resulted in fast brake points to tie the score against Tru To Da Game.

Christopher Barrows’ contribution from the bench came just in time for H Block with his tantalizing defense, while still being able to slice and dice through his opponents making a very difficult lay-up look so easy. Nothing however can compare to the loud applause which came when 41-year-old Claud Moreno proved that his age was not a hindrance when he scored a post up shot against his much younger opponents.

It was also a bitter sweet day for AGA who had to play two games back to back, one of which was a make up game. In the first game they easily blew by Brooklyn All Stars with Rome Lewis’ top score of 11 points. For the second game with AGA against U-Champions open division, there was just not enough gas in AGA’s tank.

Frustrated Coach Tawana St. Paul tried every play in the book but to no avail, her team just could not seem to get it together against the fresh legs of U-Champions. The straw that broke the camels back came with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter when Imron Andrew Plenty did 360 degrees dunk off of a fast break that seemed to have knocked what little hope AGA had left, out of the door. Coach Nathaniel White of U-Champions said that he would be going into the finals not underestimating H Block.

The Tournament’s Coordinator Marlon Whatley said that this year was a great success. “Watching so many proud parents alongside their kids, enjoying a day of sports and jubilee in harmony tells me that I’ve done my job,” stated Marlon Whatley of Tropical Limousine.

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