Morris leads Rhodes Hall to historic basketball title

April 16, 2016
Lauriann Williams (left), head coach of the newly-crowned winners of the Western Conference/ISSA High School Girls Open Championship, Rhodes Hall High School, seen here with players and supporters after lifting the title in a thrilling 50-37 win over Spot Valley in the final. Paul Clarke Photo

Rodene Morris was on fire in Thursday's final of the Western Basketball Association/Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Girls Basketball Open Championship, top-scoring with 32 points to lead Rhodes Hall High to their first-ever title, a 50-37 victory over Spot Valley High at the Montego Bay Cricket Club court.

Holland High edged Mt Alvernia High 28-27 in a tense third-place match-up that preceded the final.

Morris' all-round athletic ability was on full display as she not only scored at will, but also made herself useful as part of a strong Rhodes Hall second-half defensive effort, grabbing two rebounds to go with two blocked shots and three steals. Her teammate, Keron Brown, added 12 points and two steals in the historic win.

The bulk of Spot Valley's points came from Nassan-Gay Ricketts, who had 18 points, five rebounds, three steals, and two assists, mostly in the first two quarters, but her endeavour was outdone by the brilliant Morris.

Her easy layup immediately after the tip-off gave Rhodes Hall the first bucket of the afternoon and thereafter needed little invitation to shoot as she took full advantage of some indecisive Spot Valley defending, especially in the last quarter.

But it was Spot Valley that held the lead at the end of the first quarter, with Ricketts doing the bulk of the work early on for a 12-9 margin.

Ricketts and Brown combined well in the second quarter and it looked then like they were well on their way to the crown, outscoring Rhodes Hall 11-8 in the second stanza for a 23-17 lead at the half-time break.

Both schools will now turn their attention to the All-Island Play-offs set for G.C. Foster College in a few days' time..,

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