Spartans Top Tigers 33-27 In Exhibition
It was a homecoming game for Delroy Grandison, Tenero Ferguson, Livingstone Bromwell and Shamar Burrows as the quartet made it back from the cold and in the sunshine.
Grandison and Ferguson provided a 1-2 punch for the Noble Preparatory Academy Spartans basketball team as they held off Bromwell and the injured Burrows on the visiting Ridley College Tigers out of St Catharines in Ontario, Canada.
The exhibition game was staged at the AF Adderley Gymnasium yesterday.
#Not that the score mattered, but the Spartans, coached by Geno Bullard, secured a 33-27 win over the Tigers, coached by Walt Szpilewski.
While Szpilewski has been here before, it’s the first time that he brought his Tigers basketball team – on their way to Grand Bahama to compete in a tournament this week – as they got in some action to test their skills, albeit they were still a bit jetlagged, having come directly from the Lynden Pindling International Airport to the gym to compete.
“We played a very athletic team, but we just had an early wake-up call this morning so I think their legs are still a little weary,” said Szpilewski. “It was still a good start for us. We’re a very young team, but we are getting better every time we hit the court.”
And a big part of their improvement has been the addition of Bromwell and Burrows, who have provided a big spark in their lineup.
“Livingstone is terrific. He’s probably the best addition we’ve had since Geno Bullard Jr because he’s given us an inside presence and he controls the boards very well. He’s our leading scorer right now,” Szpilewski said. “He’s just starting to know our system and so we’re very pleased to have him on our team this year.”
Burrows, according to Szpilewski, is nursing a fractured toe and he’s being rested so that he can come back fully healthy in the new year when the Tigers return to Canada to resume their regular season.
With Burrows playing sparingly, Szpilewski said they are currently 11-3 and 3-1 in league play, which has left him smiling because of the contribution of the Bahamian players.
The Spartans got started with Grandison powering inside for a layup for a 2-0 lead, but on the other end of the court, Bromwell missed on a layup on the first play for the Tigers.
Before they go to Grand Bahama, Geno Bullard said his Spartans team wanted to give Ridley College a little scrimmage so that they can get an idea of what the competition will be like when they play in the tournament this week.
“It was good to have this welcome home scrimmage,” Bullard said. “These guys have been away for a couple of months, so it was good for them to come home and compete with each other. This has really validated what we are doing with our programme, so I’m really happy for the guys.”
There were no individual stats kept, but Grandison started out as a one-man wrecking crew as he powered his way inside on the smaller Tigers’ squad. Bromwell got off to a slow start, but their big man Jarad Camroux-Peacock canned a couple of baskets from the outside to make it an exciting contest.
The Spartans managed to surge ahead 19-12 at the half, but Bromwell was able to get going offensively and that made a difference.
However, in the second half, Ferguson, Sharrano Hanna, Christian King and Trevante McPhee led the attack as the Spartans stayed ahead of the Tigers, who got some big shots from Brett Warren and Raphael Buzali Przedecky as they tried to keep the score as close as they could.
The difference, however, was the fact that the Tigers didn’t have any answer for Grandison as he took matters into his own hands. “It was a fairly good matchup having Bromwell and Shamar on the other side of the court,” Grandison said. “We don’t play on the same team anymore, so I still have to show them who is the boss.”
As for his season with Niagara College, Grandison said they got off to a slow start with a 3-5 record, but he’s confident that when he returns to school on December 9, they will be working hard on turning things around. Ferguson, by the way, is playing on Niagara College’s varsity team.
For Bromwell, who has fitted right in with the Tigers, he said it was good to get back on the court to compete at home, even though he felt Grandison and Ferguson bullied their team.
“It’s good to be back and enjoying the weather because up in Canada it’s cold right now,” Bromwell said. “I’m just glad to be able to come out and show off some of the skills that I’ve developed in the short space of time that I was there. We have a very young team. Most of the guys are in grade 10, so they will be back next year.”
On his season so far in Canada, Bromwell said he’s playing much better than he expected, averaging about 19 points per game with 11 rebounds.
“It’s good. The season has been going great for me and Shamar,” he said.
Although he’s been out for about 3-4 months with the injury, Burrows said he’s slowly working his way back into the lineup and has been playing sparingly.
“I’m just taking it easy. I will wait until we get to Freeport and see how it goes,” he said. “I was out there playing with my new team against my old team and sometimes in the game, I wished I could have gone in, but I was just glad to sit out and cheer them on.”
While he likes what he has seen in his Spartans teammates, Burrows said he’s even more excited about the potential that his Tigers possess and he’s eager to get back on the court to make his presence felt.