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HomeNewsArchivesDevil Rays Advance to Semis with 59-53 Upset of Barras

Devil Rays Advance to Semis with 59-53 Upset of Barras

Feb. 15, 2009 — The Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Devil Rays avenged a loss to the St. Croix Educational Complex Barracudas one night earlier on Saturday by knocking them out of the Central High Invitational Basketball Tournament with a hard-fought 59-53 victory.
The Rays had to withstand a frantic comeback late in the fourth quarter by the Barras, but were able to do so with some clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch.
From the opening whistle, the Rays looked liked a different team defensively and offensively from the one that lost the previous night. They were on target from beyond the arc as they sank four three-pointers in the opening period, two each by Jefferson Faustin and Jelan Williams. They finished with eight and six points respectively in the first quarter. Defensively, with the Barras' top two ball handlers out with injuries, the Rays were able to limit the Barras' scoring opportunities by forcing some turnovers. Kyle Sylvester, though, kept the Barras in striking distance with six points as his team fell behind 16-8 after one quarter.
Aubrey Dawson came off the Rays' bench in the second quarter to scorch the nets for eight points that helped his squad opened its biggest lead of 13 points when they led 25-12. But a 10-6 run by the Barras to close out the half brought them back to within nine points at 31-22.
A 6-0 run by the Rays to start the second half gave them their biggest lead of 15 points at 37-22 with just a couple minutes gone by in the third quarter. The lead would swell to 16 points with 1:11 left in the third period before the Barras closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to get to within 10 points at 43-33 heading into the final quarter. Williams and Faustin both netted five points in the third for the Rays.
The way the Barras manhandled the Rays in their previous encounter, everyone in the gym expected them to make a run at the Rays in the final period, shorthanded or not. That run began with 4:39 left on the clock and the Barras trailing by 12 at 47-35. It was sparked by the insertion of injured guard Timothy Sneed into the game. Sneed, who had not played much up to that point, rallied his troops defensively and offensively.
They responded by forcing turnovers by the Rays, who to that point had turned back every Barras challenge. Many of those turnovers turned into easy baskets for the Barras, to the delight of the hometown fans. Sylvester, who was doing most of the ball handling before Sneed entered the game, was now free to attack the basket, and that he did for seven fourth-quarter points.
The Barras also got a huge lift from Salim Ross, who scored eight points, while the Rays' Dawson did all he could to keep local team at bay with six points in the quarter. The Barras found themselves within two points of the lead at 53-51 after a clutch three-pointer by Sneed with less than a minute left in the game, but they could not get by the Rays. The Barras were forced to foul and put the Rays on the line with the clock winding down, but the Rays were not going to be denied, and some clutch free-throw shooting by Dawson and Keith Mercer sealed the deal for the Rays.
Faustin led the Rays with 18 points, Williams netted 15 and Dawson came off the bench to knock down 14 points. For the Barras, Sylvester scorched the nets for a game-high 20 points, Ross netted 10 and Sneed came off the bench to score seven late in the game.
In an earlier contest, the host Central High Caribs surprised the Charlotte Amalie Chicken Hawks 58-55 in another barn burner.
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