Undefeated Rattlers beat Marlins 71-69 in GSSSA


Tribune Sports Reporter


THE GSSSA Basketball Senior Boys season continued last night at the AF Adderley Gymnasium, highlighted by a matchup of perennial title contenders.

The CI Gibson Rattlers used a huge third quarter run to take control and sealed the game at the line late in the fourth for a 71-69 win over the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins to remain undefeated thus far on the year.

Terrence Storr scored seven of his team high 17 points in the fourth quarter and split a pair at the line with 7.6 seconds left to play to give the Rattlers breathing room and a two-point lead.

The Cobras would escape with the win when two late shot attempts from the Mystic Marlins came up short. Also for the Cobras, Tyrell Butler scored 10 and Sirmar Rolle finished with eight.

Malachi McCoy led the Mystic Marlins with 16 points, Michael Balfour scored 11 and Rakeem Minnis scored 10.

The Rattlers took an early 11-4 lead before the Mystic Marlins responded with an 8-0 run capped by a pair of free trows from McCoy to take their first lead of the game, 12-11.

The Mystic Marlins missed several opportunities to add to their lead when they missed five of six free throws over the last 1:45 of the period and allowed the Rattlers to stay within a possession.

Tyeko Lowe added a layup for a 14-12 lead, but the Rattlers ended the quarter with back-to-back three pointers to take an 18-14 lead at the end of one. The Mystic Marlins tied the game on the opening possessions of the first, but the Rattlers grabbed it right back on a Butler layup before they eventually took a 22-18 lead.

Doris Johnsons stayed close with a pair of baskets from McCoy and Janus Shepherd to tie and a free throw to regain the lead 23-22.

After the opening minutes of the second featured four lead changes, a corner three from McCoy gave Doris Johnson a 28-24 lead.

A three from Balfour moments later gave them a 33-28 lead just before the halftime buzzer sounded.

The Rattlers ended the third quarter on a late 14-2 run to take a 54-46 lead into the fourth quarter.

In the early moments of the fourth, Storr missed an opportunity to push the Rattlers’ lead to 10, and the Mystic Marlins took advantage by trimming the lead to six on a Shepherd follow tip-in.

The Rattlers led 60-54 with just under five minutes left to go but Doris Johnson made another three pointer to pull within three.

As they did for much of the night, Butler and Storr had the answers for the Rattlers to stay ahead. Butler made a contested runner in the lane.

Storr came up with a steal at half court and finished with a fast break dunk to go ahead seven (68-61) but Doris Johnson had another run.

With 1:17 left to play, CI Gibson led 70-66 with possession, but wasted a fast break opportunity that could have clinched the game.

A three-point play from Dave Lindsey brought the Mystic Marlins within one (70-69) with 32 seconds left to play, but they fell just short of completing the comeback.

After both teams exchanged possessions, Storr split the pair at the line for the game’s final margin.

The Rattlers continued their momentum from the first half of the season where they took a 4-0 record and first place lead in the standings before the break.

Over the holidays, they also won the Providence Basketball Club’s 14th Annual Christmas Classic. In the title game they defeated St George’s 80-59 and finished the tournament at 6-0.


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