Fight for the ball between Mega Mix and East during the game played on Saturday, June 16.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
Add the trash talk before the game, the fact that former team mates were playing on opposing teams and a bitter taste from a loss in the playoffs last year, and the result was just what fans had anticipated - a highly emotional, intense regular season game for the first meeting between Mega Mix and last year's senior division finalist, East at the Multipurpose Sports Complex last Saturday, June 16.
Dubbed the 'grudge match' of the BVI Basketball Federation's Summer League, the two teams went head-to-head from jump ball, but with the game on the line tied at 89 with 3:54 remaining, Mega Mix out-hustled East with easy baskets in the paint to secure a 101-93 victory.
Every loose ball was pursued as was evident when Steve Parillon and Dwayne 'Cobo' Penn met on the floor. Their dive for the ball evolved into a mild grappling contest; however, the two displayed great sportsmanship with a handshake and a smile after being separated by referees.
By the end of the first half, East built momentum and carried a 51-49 point lead into the start of the third quarter. In the second half, no team appeared willing to give up points in the paint as they traded three-pointers, committed hard fouls and defended fiercely.
Leslie Smith, who finished with a double-double performance of 19 points and 17 rebounds was deadly from three-point territory, scoring timely baskets to keep East in the mix.
His effort was not enough as the East looked very tired and failed to get back defensively in the waning moments of the game. East also settled for jumpers towards the end of the game.
Key players on both sides were forced to witness the game from the bench after being fouled out. Mega Mix's Calvert White and the East's Malik Hodge were both ejected from the game when a seemingly hard foul led to a heated baseline exchange.
"They were talking a lot before the game, but we gave them something to talk about," said Mega Mix's head coach, Verne 'Vego' Turnbull, who coached East to three consecutive championships.
He said the game was emotional because some of the players on Mega Mix were on the East championship teams.
"A lot of the guys (from the opposing team) said they would take us to school, but we have good players who played a lot of team work and defense. Last year they beat us in playoffs after some of our players had to leave for school. We have a long way to go," Turnbull stated.
Mega Mix's Kelvin Samuel led all scores with 22 points. Scoring for Mega Mix also came from Halstead 'JR' Chiverton (19 points), Parillon (17 points & 10 rebounds) and Douron Phillip (13 points).
Akil Lewis and Houston Penn finished with 18 and 13 points respectively for East. Penn also added 11 rebounds while Dameon Ottley finished with 10 points.
Team In Camouflage
Defending senior division champs, Legs donned camouflage uniforms last Saturday as they made light work of All Ah We, 102 - 74.
Led by Khalid Gerard's 36 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals, Legs staged an offensive display for three quarters after falling behind 20-17 in the first quarter.
Team captain Kennedy Bass spent most of the fourth quarter on the bench after he had amassed 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Legs in action
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
Legs also got production from Trevon Lewis, 17 points; Dione Blyden, 13 points and Rhennie Phipp, 11 points and 10 rebounds. Ricky Mabry closed with 20 points and Aubrey Daniels Sr. ended with 24 points and 21 rebounds for All Ah We.
In the other senior division games, Kings polished off a two-game weekend win streak with an 82-75 victory against Rebels.
Jevone Demming top scored for Rebels with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Sean Woods led the way for Rebels also with 22 points.
Five Kings players scored at least 15 points as they started their weekend with a 101 - 76 victory against Latinos. The leading scorer was McKenzie Baltimore with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite falling to Kings, Rebels picked up a weekend victory against HLSCC String Rays 97-50. Sean Woods topped scored for Rebels with 34 points while Regg Penn led the way for the college team with 19 points and 18 rebounds.
In the junior division, And One defeated ESHS Rams 74-73 led by Albert Hatchett's 21 points. Kevon Lettsome top scored for the Rams with 25 points and 15 rebounds.
The Hawks were led by Ryan Alfred's 21 points as they defeated Young Gunners, 90-86.
Another Level's Reavaughn Garrayway and Terique Wattley finished with 24 points each to beat Jr. Mystics 93-73. Young Starz also secured victory when they faced Jr. Pure Playaz 80-66. Jamoi Dore top scored in that game with 18 points.
In D-League action, Glenal Layne finished with 10 points as VG Heat defeated ESHS Blue Rams 51-47.