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Hoyas Reign After 100-80 Drubbing of Tortola's East Rockers

Sept. 22, 2008 — The St. Croix basketball champion Hoyas had too much firepower Saturday for their Tortola counterparts, the East Rockers, beating them by 20 points in the Sunstroke 2008 Kings of the Court tournament at the St. Croix Central High gymnasium.
The tournament brings together the three men's open-league champion teams from across the British and U.S. Virgin Island, as well as the University of the Virgin Islands Bucs. The Hoyas claimed their second trophy of the year with a style of play reminiscent of the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s. In the Rockers they found a team willing to run with them, but who were was just no match offensively.
By the time the dust cleared in the first quarter, the Hoyas had bombed their way to 40 first-quarter points over a shell-shocked East Rockers squad, and the rout was on.
"We only worked out for three days prior to the start of the tournament, and the long layoff showed in our one-point win over UVI to reach the championship game," said an excited Samuel Lee, the Hoyas coach. "We always struggle after a layoff, but we were ready tonight, and when my team shows up we are hard to beat."
In the opening quarter, the Hoyas came out on fire and with a balanced attack led by eight and nine points, respectively, by the tournament's MVP, Eddie Castillo, and point guard Steven "Pang" Hodge. The Hoyas were able to outscore the East Rockers 40-20 and did not look back. With 5:52 left in the opening period, the Rockers trailed 16-10, the closest they would get for the rest of the contest.
The Hoyas opened the second quarter with the entire starting five on the bench, but the men from the BVI were not able to take much of an advantage against the Hoyas' second stringers. They did manage to outscore the Hoyas in the quarter 17-12 to pull within 15 points, going into the locker room at the half trailing 52-37.
The Hoyas opened the second half on a 12-4 run to quickly push the lead to 23 points at 64-41, but the Rockers responded with a 15-6 run. Led by center Devane Penn and guard Doran Phillips, the Rockers pulled within 14 points at 70-56 with 3:30 left in the third period. The teams exchanged baskets over the remaining minutes of the third quarter, and the lead would remain 14 points at 76-62 after three quarters. Penn and Phillips finished with 12 and 10 points respectively in the third to keep their team within striking distance.
The Rockers scored the first basket in the final quarter to get to within 12 points at 76-64. It was the closest they had been to the Hoyas since 16-10 in the first quarter, and they looked primed for a big run. The Hoyas were having none of that, however, and a couple of three-pointers by Darnel Hendricks and Hodge quickly restored order. The St. Croix champs would go on to outscore the Rockers 22-14 the rest of the way to win going away, 100-80.
Castillo, the Sunstroke 2008 King of the Court tournament MVP, led a balanced Hoyas attack with 22 points. Hendricks and Hodge chipped in with 19 points apiece, with 15 of Hendricks' points total coming after the break. For the B.V.I. champion East Rockers, Phillips finished with a game-high 32 points, with 21 of his points coming in the second half. Penn finished with 19 points and David Lettsome netted 14.
"What we try to do in this tournament is showcase the best talent in the entire Virgin Islands, both British and U.S., and I think we were able to do that," said tournament organizer Rashidi Clenance. "So with that in mind, I think it was a very successful tournament, and I look forward to even better next year."
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