For the John Gray Panthers last Sunday losing was not an option.
Tasting defeat at the hands of the Esso Blazers would signal the end of their season in the Appleby U19 Boys basketball league.
However John Gray rose to the occasion and manhandled Esso 81-23 in the season finale at the Arts and Recreation Center at Camana Bay.
The squad was electric on both ends of the floor scoring 51 points in the first half while keeping the Blazers to less than 15 points in any half.
Leading the way was imposing big man Jermaine Taylor whose long arms and active hands netted him a huge double-double showing with 28 points, 20 rebounds and eight blocks.
Taylor had plenty of help from hoops prodigy Mario Gray and role player Nicholas Powell. Gray showed his great leaping ability in soaring to 18 points, eight rebounds and five steals.
Unsung hero Powell came out of nowhere to drop in 16 points, three rebounds and three steals for the Panthers.
Thanks to their efforts the Panthers make the playoffs as the fourth and final seed. John Gray ended the season at 3-7.
The stats sheet offered no bright spots for Esso in a gloomy end to their painful season. Jordan Parsons was top scorer with eight points while top scorer Jamaal Miller managed only three points all game.
With the loss the defending champions finish the year a disappointing 1-9 at the bottom of the standings and as a spectator for this year’s playoffs.
The other team joining Esso on the sidelines is Future Sports Club. The side fell out of a playoff spot by losing a heartbreaker 55-47 to the Wolves.
Future fought hard all game long thanks to sensational play from Jarrett Terry and Kadane Hall. Terry poured in 17 points, seven rebounds and six steals. Hall had a monstrous double-double with 18 points and 24 rebounds.
Notable mention goes to Rashad Powery-Saunds, one of the league’s top defensive players, who finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
However the lack of production from Reyson Paniagua and Keon Bodden (just four points between them) doomed Future as they failed to keep up with the Wolves.
Raheim Robinson (18 points, seven steals), Javier Howell (14 points, six rebounds) and Tikko Moore (12 points, nine rebounds) orchestrated the victory.
With the win the 8-2 Wolves take on the Panthers this week in the opening round of the playoffs. Future meanwhile ends their season at 2-8.
Joining the Wolves and Panthers in the playoffs are the 10-0 Shockwaves of Beach Suites and the 6-4 Playmakers. Both squared off last Sunday with Beach Suites finishing off an undefeated regular season with a tight 67-60 victory.
To no surprise Patrick Barnes and Brandon Glasgow dominated for the Shockwaves. Barnes had 24 points (including an incredible five three-pointers), nine rebounds and four steals while Glasgow had 23 points, 14 rebounds and six steals.
Bruce Thompson (26 points, 12 rebounds) and Neith Rhinegold (10 points and three rebounds) starred for the Playmakers.
The win is a great psychological boon to the Shockwaves who play the Playmakers in the first round.