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HomeNewsArchivesThreepeat! Hoyas Take CBA Championship Again; Referees Slammed

Threepeat! Hoyas Take CBA Championship Again; Referees Slammed

Aug. 12, 2008 — The Choices Basketball Association's two-time defending champions, the Hoyas, are now three-time champs after knocking off the Lakers 84-82 Monday at the Central High School Gym.
The Hoyas had to work hard to win this game, coming back from as many as 18 points down in the third quarter. With the Lakers leading by 18 and looking to extend the series one more game, three Hoyas caught fire in the third and began the run that led their team to the eventual championship. In the quarter, Eddie Castillo, Darnell "Burger" Hendricks and Andre "50" McIntosh scored 11, 10 and eight points, respectively, to help the Hoyas erase the large deficit and eventually take the lead.
However, the game was soured by the officiating late in the contest, as both officials made questionable calls that had fans talking long after the game. But it must be said that both teams suffered from the calls.
Questionable calls aside, Hoyas coach Samuel Lee called his team deserving winners.
"We were down 20 points in the third and I had no fear" he said. "I just tell my team that we had to pull it together. Do not worry about the score, let's play ball, we're the champs and we have been down way more than that before and come back to win. We could do it, I told them. We are not going to a game five; we are going to finish it tonight!"
The Hoyas opened the game on a 5-0 run highlighted by a long three-pointer from Hendricks. Ignited by a three-point play by center Rondell Harris the Lakers then scored the next eight points to take the lead at 8-6. The teams battled on evenly for the rest of the first quarter, and the Lakers were able to maintain their two-point edge at 18-16.
A sound game plan of dumping the ball inside and letting their size advantage work for them proved to be very effective for the Lakers in the second quarter. A€ 14-8 run to start the second period — mostly on the hot shooting of Robert Duck — gave the Lakers the lead at 32-24. After an exchange of baskets to make the score 34-26, the Lakers would score the next seven points to go up by 15 points at 41-26 with 1:46 left in the half.
The score was 42-26 when the Hoyas went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 10 points at 42-32 with 13 seconds left in the first half. As the clock wound down, Duck took a Hoyas defender off the dribble and slammed home the final two points of the half, giving the Lakers a 12-point advantage at 44-32 going into the locker room. Duck led the Hoyas with 12 second-quarter points.
The second half started well for the Lakers, as they went on a 6-0 run to quickly open up an 18-point lead at 50-32. However, a three pointer by the Hoyas' Castillo cut the lead to 15 at 50-35 and the Hoyas' comeback was underway. Riding the hot hands of Burger, Castillo and Andre McIntosh, the Hoyas outscored the Lakers 20-4 over the next several minutes to grab their first lead since the first quarter at 55-54 with 3:25 left in the third. The Hoyas extended their lead to as many as seven points at 61-54 before the Lakers came back on a 6-1 run to close the third quarter, trailing by just two points at 62-60.
This score should have signaled to most basketball fans that an exciting fourth quarter was forthcoming. But what transpired in that final period could probably go down in St. Croix basketball history as one of the worst games ever officiated. Both teams were battling hard, and although the Lakers came back to lead briefly in the final period, the Hoyas had the lead at 76-72 with 4:45 left in the game.
What transpired over the final few minutes was truly a sad day for basketball on the big island. Two of the territory's most respected basketball officials appeared to get so caught up in the game that they decided to pick sides. Both teams would suffer through some shameful, blatantly ridiculous calls as both of these referees appeared to retaliate against each other's calls.
The teams would battle on, however — the championship was on the line. The Hoyas were able to pull out the win on the clutch play of Castillo and Hendricks down the stretch as they hit some tough shots and netted their free throws.
Castillo hit seven threes to lead four Hoyas in double figures with a game-high 27 points. Hendricks dropped in 25, while MacIntosh and Karl John finished with 10 points apiece for the Hoyas. For the Lakers, Jerome Nathaniel led the way with 21 points, Duck finished with 20 and Raol Caesar netted 14.
League organizer Kevin "Tigan" Sheppard was visibly upset with the officiating and vowed not to run the league next year. His sentiments was echoed moments later by Lakers coach Calvin Burke, who said he is not bringing his team back next year, either. It was sad to hear how Burke felt, but even worse to hear Sheppard assert that the CBA will not be back next year. This is easily the most popular spectator sport locally, and it's a positive thing for our youths. It was a great season that was soured by two respected referees momentarily forgetting their oath to fair play.
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