by RENALDO DORSETT
Senior point guard Shakwon Lewis won nearly every accolade as a junior, and this season he may be even better as lead his CI Gibson Rattlers to consecutive GSSSA Senior Boys basketball championship titles.
Lewis finished with 31 points, five rebounds and five assists in the Rattlers’ 78-68 game three win over the Dame Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins last night at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
“This feels great, we stuck together as a team tonight, unlike game two when we played too much one on one,” he said, “This makes it all worth it, running the sand, suicides, all the hard work, it was worth.”
He was one of three Rattlers in double figures along with Michael Sweeting who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Johnley Noel who added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Brendon Stubbs led the Mystic Marlins with 24 points and eight rebounds, Kyle Turnquest added 13 points while Lennix Moss added 11 points off the bench.
With momentum in their favour after a game two win, the Mystic Marlins were ultimately undone by foul trouble in their frontcourt.
With Game Atilus and Deangelo Jolly on the bench for much of the game, the Mystic Marlins lost their size advantage, edge on the boards and opened up driving lanes for Lewis and the Rattler guards.
Atilus came into the game averaging 21 points and 13 rebounds in the series, but was limited to just two points and two boards in game three.
In the first quarter, both teams were tentative early on, but Atilus picked up three fouls early on with Doris Johnson up 8-3.
Lennix Moss made a three pointer for an 11 -3 lead, but with Atilus on the bench, Lewis drove the lane at will and scored six points to close the quarter to tie the game at 11.
The teams traded runs early in the second quarter.
CI took a 17-13 lead after three consecutive fastbreak scores. Doris Johnson would respond when Brendon Stubbs scored on a putback and Glen Wilson made a three pointer to regain the lead. An Ira Farrington layup was answered with a Dormeus three for a 21-19 lead. Lewis made a pair at the line and then finished a fastbreak layyup, 23-21.
With Lewis sidelined for final two minutes, Rattlers were able to cling to slim lead, 29-27 at the half on a Farrington putback just before the buzzer sounded.
Atilus quickly picked up his fourth foul just 1:12 into the third quarter and the Rattlers quickly took advantage of the opportunity.
Wilner Sephin made a three pointer from the corner and Lewis responded with a three point play for a 39-32 lead.
The Rattlers lead reached double figures for the first time when Michael Sweeting scored on a runner for a 42-32 lead.
After a Lewis with a three pointer from the wing and floater in the lane, the Rattlers lead grew to as much as 16, 52-38.
The Mystic Marlins managed to cut the lead to eight just before buzzer when Stubbs found Kyle Turnquest under the basket for a layup, 56-48 headed into the fourth.
In the fourth, the Mystic Marlins traded baskets but were unable to get enough stops on the defensive end to legitimately threaten the lead.
A Stubbs basket made it 66-59, and the Mystic Marlins forced a turnover but failed to capitalise on consecutive possessions.
They tried several defenders, changed schemes, but it did little to slow down Lewis in the fourth quarter as he scored or assisted on the final five field goals for CI Gibson.
Rattlers head coach Kevin Johnson said his team got the edge with their poise in a key third quarter run.
“The guys worked hard all year. Hats off to Doris Johnson, they are a very well coached team and they will be a force to reckon with in Hugh Campbell, but my guys wanted it a little bit more and we executed down the stretch,” he said, “We had an up and down year with injuries, but I’m just happy for all the guys who worked to get this done especially the young guys and our seniors.”