Bobby Gray scores 45 as Horizon blows out Storm to retain Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League title

By Sports Desk February 01, 2023
Winners and losers: Winning and losing faces beside each other:  Horizon's Bobby Gray (l), MVP celebrates on Sunday at the National Arena while Storm's Da'Rell Dominek grimaces  in defeat after his team was beaten 113-89 in the final at the National Arena in Kingston. Winners and losers: Winning and losing faces beside each other: Horizon's Bobby Gray (l), MVP celebrates on Sunday at the National Arena while Storm's Da'Rell Dominek grimaces in defeat after his team was beaten 113-89 in the final at the National Arena in Kingston. Contributed

Bobby Gray scored 45 points as Horizon successfully defended its title after thrashing Storm by 113-89 in the final of the Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League on Sunday at the National Arena in Kingston.

Meanwhile, Waves copped third place by delivering a similar thrashing to the Rivers who ended the competition without a victory from their eight games.

The final was competitive right up to two minutes before the end of the first quarter when Horizon went on a 10-2 run to open up a 12-point lead.

After that, it was basically one-way traffic as Horizon increased their lead in each subsequent quarter leading 59-47 and 83-68, before emphatically retaining their title.

Gray was named MVP but he was supported by Asaad Woods and Rasheed Maynard Woods who scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.

 Da'Rell Dominek scored 30 points and Jayrn Johnson 22 for the Storm, but could have done with a big game from their best player Brandon BDot Armstrong, who scored only six points in what was his worst game of the tournament.

"(I) feel pretty elated tonight. We had done it in the summer and this is the winter league and we are able to pull off another championship again,” said Horizon head coach Cleon Morgan.

“We came out tonight looked a little bit smoother even though we started off a little sloppy but regardless of that we picked up back the pace and we maintained the lead all the way till the end of the game."

Storm’s head coach, Oneil Brown, said his team did not play to win.

"Actually, a lot of us struggled. I think the guard play; Horizon had better guard play than us tonight,” he said.

“Their guards outscored us and you can see the score at the end. I am disappointed in my team. If it wasn't for Da'Rell we'd by down by 40 and the game would be long over but it has been a good season, ups and down and we looking forward for next year."

In the playoff for third, Waves came prepared to close out the championship with a win after narrowly missing out on a place in the final.

They dominated Rivers in every quarter and category - three-pointers, blocks, free throws and defense. They led 30-12, 52-33, 82-67 before closing out the victory 110-86.

Lushane Wilson scored 27 points and Cameron Burhannon 26 points for Waves while Ricky Shuford had a game-high 35 points and the dependable Anthony Ottleym 14, for Rivers.

"It was a good game but it was one of the toughest games of the season for us mentally. I am really proud of the guys because I was worried,” said Waves coach Rohan Robinson afterwards.

“They said they wanted to finish it off strong, they’re not going out like losers. They are looking forward again to the next tournament in the summer."

After leading Rivers to yet another disappointing loss, Ludlow Barker hopes to get another chance at coaching in the league.

"I think if we going to have the rosters and we can select some more of the players then. If we can choose the kind of team we need then we will get a chance but if you have to play with those you are given then you have to work with it," he said.

League owner Wayne Dawkins was pleased with the tournament stating that the league was here to stay.

"The level of talent we were able to attract down here was extremely high,” he said.

“Our coaching staff did a phenomenal job, our table staff and everybody else, because we really have to get that down in order to be able to scale and grow this thing and so that I was very pleased with."

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