The second round of matches in the Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League began as scheduled at 6:00 pm on Wednesday at the National Arena to a very involved and noisy set of spectators, with defending champion Horizon getting the better of the Waves and Storm defeating Rivers in contrasting fashion. 

Horizon continued its winning ways and is now the sole leader with two wins after two rounds. They were pressured by the Waves who lead the first two quarters 24-16 and 37-34 and well into the third quarter before drawing level 54 a piece, and then inching past them with 4:42 to go in the fourth quarter and take the match 86-79 in a ding dong battle between the teams. 

The top performers for Horizon were MVP for the previous competition Bobby Gray (22 points), Rasheed Maynard (17 points) and Nicholai Brown (11 points). 

Cleon Morgan, coach of Horizon was pleased with the result "we started out slow compared to the previous game but we had a strategy even though the opponents were leading but the objective was to chip it little by little as we go along. Going into the third quarter we were also down but we started to chip it. We adjusted the defense a little, it worked for us and so we were able to pull off a victory today (Wednesday)." 

The Waves came into the match on a high from its win against the Rivers in the first round.  They were quick on the court with some smart plays but were eventually pegged back by Horizon.  Waves' top scorers were Cameron Burhannan (40 points), Marin Dixon Green (14 points) and Lushane Wilson (10 points). 

The other match-up pitched the Rivers against the Storm. They were looking for their first win, having both lost to Waves and Horizon respectively in the first round. The Storm came out blazing with a 35/7 first quarter but the Rivers outscored them 37-19 in the second quarter to close out the half at 44-54. The Storm re-grouped in the third quarter to extend their lead to 17 and end the quarter 79-62 in their favor after allowing the Rivers to come within three points in the quarter. The Rivers made a run 33-24 again in the fourth quarter but could not catch the Storm who posted 102 for the win to Rivers' 96.

 The Storm's Brandon "BDot" Armstrong (31 points), Jayrn Johnson (25 points), Da'Rell Domine (17 points) and Roshane O'Brian (14 points) were the top scorers, while Ricky Shaford (27 points), Anthony Ottley (27 points) and Tre Brewer (25 points) were the main contributors the Rivers' score. 

According to the Storm's coach Oneil Brown who spoke after the match, "I feel great. After the first game I must show respect to the guys who came back after the first game loss. They showed character and come out here and changed the way they played. This is a pro league, this is what pro teams do. We made adjustments and we changed the entire thing yesterday at practice because the first game did not work. We came out here with a plan and my team executed the plan and I am grateful for the victory."  He credited top scorer BDot and Johnson and the entire team who stepped up their performance, for winning the match. 

The four-team competition roster boasts overseas based pros from the USA, Canada and Barbados and fifty percent Jamaican amateurs. 

The next set of matches on the four-team schedule will see Horizon taking on the winless Rivers while Storm will battle Waves on Saturday at the National Arena.  The first match is scheduled for start at 6:00 pm while the second match will start at 8:00 pm.

The Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Winter League tipped-off last Saturday at the National Arena in front of a fair sized crowd with defending champions Horizon soundly defeating the Storm 114 to 62.  The quarter scores were 26/11, 27/14, 32/19 and 29/18. 

All twelve members of team Horizon contributed to the win with the USA-based Trevor Thompson top scoring with 19 points.  The other players to get into double figures were Bobby Gray (USA) 17, Asaad Woods (USA) 16, while three Jamaicans Nicholai Brown, Antjuan McFarlane and Anthony White all scored 11 points each. 

The top scorers for the Storm were the USA-based Jaryn Johnson 11 and Trayvon Jefferson-Bey also 11 while Daniel Martiller of Jamaica scored 10 points.  It took more than five minutes for the Storm to get on the score sheet as they trailed 2/15 behind the Horizon at that point.

Cleon Morgan, coach of Horizon was pleased with the team's performance in the their first match.  "I am pleased with the performance from the team tonight.  It could have been a bit better in other areas but its the first game so I am sure that they are getting the butterflies out." 

The other match, which was the first match to start this year's Winter League saw the Rivers getting the better of the Waves 110 to 94.  The Rivers started strong and lead 29/19 for the first quarter and 53/46 at half time but the Waves posted a strong 33/20 to take the lead at the end of the third quarter at 79/73.  Both team scored 21 each in a very competitive last quarter.  The top scorers on the night were Anthony Ottley of Canada who posted 39 for the Rivers and Cameron Burhannon of the USA with 36 points for the Waves. 

The Waves' coach Rohan Robinson was happy to get the win in the first match.  "It feels good.  Last year I was in the same position as the other team so it just feels good for me now that I can match up with the teams and get the best out of the players." 

The four team competition roster boasts overseas based pros from the USA, Canada and Barbados and fifty percent Jamaican amateurs.  According to the league president Wayne Dawkins, it was specifically designed give the Jamaicans the opportunity to play with the pros and to give them the type of exposure to professional basketball that will help them to become better players as well as prepare them to take up opportunities abroad.

The league will feature double-header matches on Saturdays and Wednesday until the final week when matches are scheduled for Friday January 27and Sunday January 29 with the top two teams competing for the title. 

The next set of matches on the four-team schedule will see the two day-one winners - Horizon and Waves - battling each other on Wednesday at the National Arena.  The two losing teams - Rivers and Storm - will try to record their first win in the league.  The first match will start at 6:00 pm while the second match will start at 8:00 pm.

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