Mixed bag for Muschett in Conference finals

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Muschett High were upset by defending champions Herbert Morrison Technical, 84-83, in the first game of their best-of-three ISSA/KFC Western Conference Under-16 basketball finals on Monday at Montego Bay Cricket Club.

Muschett, who came into both the Under-16 and Under-19 finals unbeaten all season and the favourites to capture both titles, split the games as they comfortably beat Holland High, 64-47, in the senior game, going into this afternoon’s game twos at the same venue.

Herbert Morrison could secure back-to-back titles in the Under-16 today, while Muschett can also win their first Under-19 crown in more than four years with wins.

Herbert Morrison’s Ralique Grant was on fire as he hit seven three-pointers, including one with 25 seconds to go in the game, to level the scores at 82-all after coming back from a double digit deficit in the fourth quarter.

Three-point baskets from Alwayne Beadle and Grant dug Herbert Morrison out of an eight-point deficit inside the final minute after Muschett appeared on their way to another win after beating Herbert Morrison earlier in the season.

The Trelawny school still had a chance to win after Gregory Wallace missed four free throws in the final six seconds, but he grabbed two crucial rebounds to secure the victory.

Herbert Morrison got off to a fast start, leading Muschett, 31-15, after the first quarter and were cruising before Muschett came storming back through Lamon Thompson, Karlington Barrett and Djair Bulgin, who combined for 68 points.

Muschett found their rhythm in the second quarter to lead by two points, 44-42, at half-time, then increased their lead to seven points, 66-59, going into the final period.

Grant finished with 33 points and Beadle 18, while Wallace, David Peck and Collin Smith all scored 10 points for Herbert Morrison. Peck grabbed 21 rebounds.

Thompson was the top player for Muschett with 24 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and six steals. Barrett scored 23 points and had 13 rebounds; Bulgin scored 21 points, while Obrien Clarke had 10.

After watching their junior team lose, the Muschett Under-19 side never allowed Holland to get into their rhythm, limiting them to 14 first-half points to lead by 14 points at half-time.

Michael Schloss scored 21 points to lead Muschett’s scoring, Alston Billings scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds, while Trevor Mowatt notched 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Clifton Shettleworth’s 17 points was the most for Holland, while Gian Gray chipped in with 10.

Alwayne Beadle of Herbert Morrison Technical (left) takes on Muschett High’s Lamon Thompson in game one of the ISSA/KFC Western Conference Under-16 basketball finals at Montego Bay Cricket Club. Herbert Morrison won the game 84-83. (Photo: Paul Reid)

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