Hoyas in CBA Finals Third Straight Year with 76-67 Win Over Guidance

Aug. 5, 2008 — Hoyas star forward Dornell "Burger" Hendricks scored only 15 points for his team in their 76-67 Monday night playoff victory over Guidance, but nine of those points were clutch baskets in the crucial fourth quarter.
The victory placed the two-time Choices Basketball Association defending champions back in the finals for the third consecutive year with a chance to three-peat. Burger, slowed by a bad ankle, could barely get up and down the court for three quarters, much less stay with his defensive assignment. However, he was able to come alive both offensively and defensively — bum ankle and all — in the final period when his team needed him most.
The CBA summer basketball league, easily the most-watched spectator sport on St. Croix, drew a near-capacity crowd to the St. Croix Central High School gym Monday night. The atmosphere was reminiscent of a Final Four or an NBA playoff game, with fans wearing their favorite team colors and cardboard signs flashing every so often to support a basket or a good defensive play.
The contest was a defensive struggle for both teams early in the first quarter, but Guidance led 12-8 with 2:05 left in the opening period. The Hoyas, sparked by a couple of threes by point guard Eddie "Hot Sauce" Castillo, grabbed the lead at 15-12 with 30 seconds left. Guidance scored the final basket of the quarter to pull within one at 15-14 at the end of one quarter.
Guidance came out on fire to start the second quarter, going on a 9-0 run to lead 23-15 behind six quick points from guard Malik Hodge. However, Andre "50" McIntosh came alive with eight points for the Hoyas in the latter stages of the period to help his team outscore Guidance 18-6 the rest of the way to go into the locker room with a 33-31 lead at the half.
Guidance scored the first four points of the second half to take the lead quickly at 34-33. The teams would exchange the lead on several occasions over the next few minutes, but then Castillo caught fire from beyond the arc, hitting three threes, and the Hoyas opened up a nine-point lead at 51-42 with 2:42 left in the third. Guidance mounted a small run near the end of the period to get to within five at 53-48. Castillo finished with 13 points in the period.
A 6-0 run by Guidance, capped by two free throws by Ryan Rawlins to start the fourth quarter, gave them the lead at 54-53. However, Omari Applewhaite answered with a three-pointer for the Hoyas and they retook the lead at 56-54. Lloyd Gilbert then tied the game at 56 on a turnaround jumper.
One of two free throws by starting center Kurt "Tennis Man" John, who had to miss the entire first half because of work, gave the Hoyas a one-point lead at 57-56. This is about the time that Burger appeared to forget about the pain in his ankle nad put the team on his back. After a turnover by Guidance, he found himself wide open for a long three and the Hoyas now enjoyed a four-point lead at 60-56. The lead went to six at 68-62 after a drive and a layup by the Hoyas' McIntosh, but on the inbound he would commit his fifth foul and had to watch from the bench after playing a great game for his team.
Guidance, in the bonus with that foul, got two free throws from Hodge to get to within four at 68-64, but then Burger came down and hit another long three-pointer to give the Hoyas a seven-point lead at 71-64 with 1:28 left in the game. Hoyas fans were now jubilantly celebrating in the stands. A three-pointer by Richard Isles would be the final basket for Guidance, and with time running out on their season they were forced to start intentionally fouling the Hoyas. The Hoyas would hit their free throws down the stretch to come away with the 76-67 victory. It would also be the third straight year that Guidance was eliminated by the Hoyas.
Castillo led four Hoyas in double figures with a game-high 23 points. Hendricks netted 15, McIntosh 14, and Karl John dropped in 10 points. For Guidance, Hodge led the way with 20 points, Rawlings netted 15 and Isles and Calvert White both scored 11 points apiece.
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