Lions and Royals take series leads

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

Both defending GSSSA basketball junior division champions are now just one game away from successfully defending their titles following convincing game one wins.

Junior Girls HO Nash Lions - 42

TA Thompson Scorpions - 28

Lions lead series 1-0

The Lions struck first in the latest edition of the rivalry between the division’s top teams in recent years.

The Lions were led by the high-scoring duo of Geraniqua Bethel with 17 points and Jonique Cunningham with 15 points.

Nathayla Lightbourne led the Scorpions with ten points and Dominique Rolle finished with nine.

Bethel’s jumper from the baseline was the first score of the game and the Lions began the game on an 8-0 run all scored by the Bethel/Cunningham duo. Cunningham converted a three point play and the Lions full court trap continued to converted defensive stops into easy offence. They led 15-3 after one.

The Scorpions scored their first field goal of the game in the second quarter and went on a run that eventually trimmed the defecit to six at one point on a Rolle layup to make the score 18-12. The Lions shifted momentum through their defence once again and responded with an 8-0 run of their own. They took a 26-14 lead into the half and led 31-20 headed into the fourth.

Bethel’s three pointer made it 40-23 with just over three minutes left to play and the Lions led by as much as 23 in the fourth.

These same teams met in the 2018 championship series that was decided in three games and the Lions eventually claimed their third consecutive title.

Junior Boys

DW Davis Royals - 47

CH Reeves Raptors - 41

Royals lead series 1-0

Phillip Dawkins was active on both ends of the floor and led the Royals to a game one win that was not as close as the final score indicated.

A low-scoring first quarter for both teams, the Royals led just 6-4 at the end of the first period. They took their first double digit lead of the game, 16-6 on a Dawkins layup. The Raptors were finally able to break a nearly four minute drought for and made a late run which made the score 19-12 at the half.

Their momentum continued in the third and brought them within five, 25-20, but free throws pushed the lead back to eight. Dawkins came up with a steal and layup to regain 10 point lead headed into the fourth.

The Royals led by nine for much of the fourth until the game’s waning moments.

The Royals, perennial contenders for the Junior Boys title look to regain a familiar spot atop the league and claim their fourth consecutive title. They remain undefeated on the season at 10-0. The second ranked Raptors lone loss of this season, came at the hands of the Royals.