Rattlers strike first, win Hugh Campbell opener


Sports Reporter


JUST days after claiming the GSSSA title, the CI Gibson Rattlers struck first in the 32nd Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic with a tournament opening win.

The Rattlers easily got by the Aquinas College Aces 72-19 in the first of the 54- game schedule set to be played over the course of the weekend.

It was a balanced scoring effort for the Rattlers, with no players in double figures but four players scored at least eight and all but one   made a field goal.

Shakwon Lewis, Johnley Noel and Shamar Rolle each finished with nine while Oatman Lightbourne added eight.

Khristian Martinez was the lone bright spot for the Aces with a game high 10 points.

Fresh off their GSSSA championship triumph last Thursday, the Rattlers rested their starters for much of the first half to get the reserves valuable in-game experience.

“That’s what it is all about,” Rattlers’ head coach Kevin Johnson said.

“Hugh Campbell is a very prestigious tournament and we want to get everybody involved and be a part of what we are trying to do here and this was a time for a lot of them to get their time to shine on the floor. I know deeper down into the tournament as the games get more difficult I will have to shorten my bench, but when I call upon them and it’s time for them to play, they will play. We just wanted everyone to come out and get an early feel for the tournament.”

With the Rattlers going to their bench, the Aces were able to stick around early on.

CI Gibson didn’t reach double figures until there was less than a minute left to play in the period.

A Noel layup gave them an 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Rattlers held a 13-7 lead at the 3:57 mark when starters entered the game.

Lewis, who also added six assists, five steals and four rebounds, had a no-look assist to Quincy Poitier on their first possession.

Lightbourne scored five in a row with a three pointer and layup to see the lead balloon 22-9.

Poitier highlighted the run with a  fast break dunk with seconds remaining and the Rattlers took a 25-10 lead into the half.

With the starters back into the rotation, the CI Gibson lead ballooned to 40 at the end of the third.

They outscored the Aces 28-3 in the period to put the game away for good.

A pair of free-throws from Rolle gave the Rattlers a 32-12 lead at 3:51 mark to lead by 20  and a D’Varj Smith layup made it 43-13 at 2:25 mark.

They limited the Aces to just one field goal in the period and closed on an 8-0 run in the final minute of the quarter to take a 53-13 lead into the fourth.

In the fourth, the Rattlers opened it up from long distance with each of their five three point makes coming in the game’s final frame.

Lewis had a series of possessions where he followed three consecutive three point misses with three consecutive steals, and made a turnaround three from the corner on his fourth attempt.

In the second game of the afternoon, the defending Hugh Campbell champion CC Sweeting Cobras also got off to a winning start in the tournament.

Led by 17 points from Braymond Jones, the Cobras won 55-44 over the Temple Christian Suns.

Antonio Munroe added 11 points while Jamal Simon chipped in with 10.

Dylan Musgrove led the  Suns with a game high 19 points.

• On Wednesday (today), each of the two sessions, starting at 1pm and 6pm, will be $5. Any students in uniform with their school identification will be charged half price.


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