Defending Champions, Kwakwani Secondary held off McKenzie High School on Saturday to make it into the finals of the 2011 National Schools’ Basketball Championships at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The Division One semifinal encounter between the two Linden giants was organized by the Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) and the National Sports Commission (NSC) and ended 58-56 in favour of Kwakwani.
In the close match-up both teams exchanged leads early in the first half as they had no problem in finding the bottom of the nylon net.
However, Kwakwani tightened up on their defence coming out of a strategic timeout by their coach that saw the first half ending 22-16 in favour of the defending champs.
Dwight McKinnon along with Parrish Cadogan then stepped up their offensive play coming out of the break for McKenzie High and brought the game down to a 2 point deficit with 3 minutes left in the game.
With the game on the line and less than a minute on the clock, Cadogan drove the lane and picked up a foul that got him to the line for two crucial free throws that he missed and which would have tied the game at 58-58 and sent it into overtime.
McKinnon led McKenzie with a game high 19 points and 16 rebounds while Cadogan finished with 17 points in the loss.
Dominique Douglas led Kwakwani to victory with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds while Leonard Primo who is also a major part of Kwakwani’s under-16 offence, contributed 13 points and 16 rebounds to the win.
Meanwhile the Georgetown Conference winners, Marian Academy were booted out of the competition in the other semifinal by Linden Technical Institute (LTI) to set up an all Linden final.
Marian, which had dominated its opponents by double digit victories throughout the course of the competition, had the tables switched on it this time around as the game finished 61-86 in favour of the Lindeners.
The Georgetown Champs seemed unsettled against the physically bigger Linden team and rushed their offence during the game instead of playing the settled offensive game that they are known for.
However, hot off his all-star performance for the National Schools’ Basketball Festival (NSBF) First Team, Marlon Pollydore once again swished most of his three point attempts for LTI scoring 26 points while Geoffrey Larose scored a game high 28 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the blowout win.
Tequan Vieira and Selvaughn Moseley scored 24 and 15 points respectively for Marian in the loss.
In the Under 16 semifinals Kwakwani Jr. routed Marian Academy Jr. 67-21 in the Linden versus Georgetown encounter.
Leonard Primo was an unstoppable force as he scored 15 points and collected 21 rebounds while Eon Meredith scored a game high 17 points for the Lindeners.
Daniel Lopes’ three-point assault was far from good enough to help Marian stay close to Kwakwani as he ended on 15 points.
Plaisance Jr. gained a comfortable victory over St. Stanislaus College Jr. to set up an East Coast versus Linden final in the under-16 category as the game ended 28-19 at the end of regulation time.
Wesley Forde led the East Coast side with 8 points while Quincy Johnson scored 6 points for St. Stanislaus.