by Charleston Gladden
As the first half of the season is coming to an end teams are trying to win as much games as possible to solidify for spot for the playoffs. That is exactly what Smart Belize Hurricanes did last night as they visited their rivals up north, Orange Walk Running Rebels, in their home opener. Last season, they gotten swept in the regular season by the same team and now came for revenge.
As game began Rebels went on a 7-0 to show their dominance at home, but at 7:48 that run was over when Akeem Watters score the first two points for Smart Belize Hurricanes and giving them the lead at 3:54 remaining in the first. Running Rebels weren’t backing down as they regained the lead at 9:18 in the second quarter at a score of 13 – 12, but Smart Hurricanes were right on their trail giving blow for blow. As the both teams settled with a first half score of 27 – 20 with Smart Hurricanes on top. As the second half began Orange Walk Running Rebels with on a 6 – 0 forcing Smart Hurricanes to a timeout. During that timeout, the Running Rebels began to erupt in excitement. From 7:58 to 3:54 of the third quarter, it was another blow for blow match as both teams didn’t want to slip up. That was till Smart Hurricanes winds began to brew up and showed they’re named Hurricanes, as they went on a 11 – 0 run to end the third quarter and a 10 – 0 run to extend their lead to 18 before Running Rebels could score again but at that time it was already too late for them as they were down by 20 in the final quarter. After two monstrous dunk by Ray Cruz of Smart Hurricanes put the icing on the cake for them and deflating any thoughts of a comeback or confidence of the Running Rebel fans and players. At 1:38 remaining in the game, an altercation occurred between players of both teams causing a few players to be fined and ejected of the game but it didn’t end there. Orange Walk locals weren’t too satisfied of their team losing at home and
began to be disorderly with throwing drinks on the court and that the players. Thus, forcing the officials to discontinue the game and giving Smart Hurricanes the win with a score of 72 – 53.
Player of the game goes to Akeem Watters of Smart Belize Hurricanes finishing with a game high of 20 points and 7 rebounds along with 3 steals. Other key contributors for Smart Belize Hurricanes were Glency Lopez with 14 points and Tyson Reynold with 11 points and 8 rebounds with 5 blocks. Ray Cruz and Raheem Thurton finished with 6 points respectively. Contributors for Orange Walk Running Rebels were Roger Reneau with 14 points. Matthew Young had 13 points and 8 rebounds off the bench and James Ewing with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Hurricanes: bounced back off a terrible performance on the road last week against San Pedro Tiger Sharks splitting their 3 game road trip with one more remaining.
Running Rebels: searching for answers as they haven’t won a single game as yet.
Hurricanes: visits Belmopan on February 22nd, 2018
Running Rebels: visits Belmopan on February 16th, 2018