Storm to face Horizon in Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League final after thrilling victory over Waves

By Sports Desk January 29, 2023
Storm players in celebration following their 115-113 win in Friday's semi-final. Storm players in celebration following their 115-113 win in Friday's semi-final.

Despite a game-high 58 points by Cameron Burhannon, Waves suffered a tough 115-113 loss to Storm on Friday to advance to Sunday’s final of the Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League where they are set to face defending champions Horizon.

Brandon Armstrong scored 32 for Storm in a most-compelling encounter.

Horizon, meanwhile, battered the winless Rivers 112-87 in the second semi-final.

Rivers will play Waves in a play-off for third.

Played in front of a vociferous group of spectators, the Storm/Waves game featured end-to-end action and almost constant lead changes in what many described as the game of the tournament.

Waves enjoyed the largest lead, six points, over Storm at the end of the third quarter, an advantage that was quickly erased by the second minute of the of the final quarter.

“I must commend my team. They played their hearts out,” said Storm’s head coach O’Neil Brown.

“We played this team twice since this season, this is the third game and I told my guys going into this match if one team beat you three times it means they are better then you.

“The last game when I watched over and over again we saw that when we play with two ‘bigs’, it kind of give us problems guarding the perimeter ‘cause the Waves like to shoot threes so we decided at the end of the game that we were going to go small and force them to go small and it worked out for us."

Brown said he was confident of his team’s chances against the defending champion in the final.

 “I feel great and this going into the finals. We are confident that we can pull it off. This lifts the guys’ morale and we can't wait for Sunday to come," Brown said.

Losing coach Rohan Robinson was naturally despondent.

“Well, it’s simple. You could see the team prepared for us.  You play a team twice and you beat them, you can do so much and no more,” he said.

“If you prepare yourself you will come out the victor. I told them if we cannot get a chance to prepare ourselves and we not playing together when things are tough we not going get through."

The second match of the night between Horizon and Rivers went as expected with Horizon winning by 25 points as Bobby Gray scored 23 points in tandem with Rasheed Maynard and Asaad Wood, who each scored 19 points.

They led at the end of every quarter and were ahead by as many as 35 points in the third quarter.

Rivers outscored Horizon 27-17 in the fourth quarter but it provided little consolation.

Rivers’ Anthony Ottley scored 24 with support from Ricky Shuford 17 and Tre Brewer 16.

 "It was a pretty good game. We have played them about four times. We weren't surprised that we were able to pull out another victory tonight, not really a strong opponent but nevertheless, we were able to pull a victory and I am proud of the team tonight" said Horizon’s coach Cleon Morgan.

River’s coach Tesfa Milligen is hopeful his team can win third place on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, another rough night. We still have one more game left which is for third place so hopefully we can put it together and play a full 48 minutes of competitive team basketball and come out with a W," he said.

The third place -off and final will tip off on Sunday, January 29. The first match begins at 6:00 pm and the final set for at 8:00 pm.  The day's activity will actually start at 2:00 pm with several exhibition matches featuring high school girls and boys teams.

 

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