March 16, 2007 — The Central High School Caribs stormed into Saturday nights boys varsity basketball championship with a resounding 85-57 home win over the Country Day School Tigers.
After losing 75-65 in their own gym the week before, the Tigers, who led in that game for the first three quarters, were very optimistic about their chances against the Caribs Thursday night.
Their optimism was bolstered by the return to their lineup of their best low post player, center Ryan Nelthrop.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, someone forgot to tell the Caribs that they were supposed to keep the game close, because they started fast and never really slowed down until the final whistle.
From the opening tip, the intensity with which the Caribs came out was noticeably much higher than how they started the game one week earlier.
Defensively and offensively, the Caribs looked liked a different team. Rashawn Williams' eight first-quarter points got the ball rolling for the defending champs, and he helped them to a first-period lead of 19-12. That seven-point deficit would be as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way.
The second quarter belonged to each teams superstars: Stephen O'Reilly for the Tigers and Craig "Big Smooth" Williams for the Caribs.
With the Caribs looking to blow the Tigers out of the gym, O'Reilly took it upon himself to keep his team in the game. He sliced and diced his way through the Caribs defense for 13 second-quarter points, which included nine from beyond the arc.
Unfortunately for O'Reilly, he did not get much support from the rest of his team in the period. Williams, on the other hand, also had a nice second quarter offensively, scoring 10 points, but he also got scoring from teammates that helped propel his team to a 10-point lead at the half, 38-28.
For the first five minutes of the third quarter, the teams played evenly. The Caribs would open up as much as a 15-point lead, but back would come the Tigers to get to within 10. They would get as close as nine points at 49-40, on a putback by Nelthrop with 2:30 left in the third, but then the Caribs exploded, going on a 14-3 run to close the third period with a commanding 20-point lead at 63-43.
Things would go downhill from there, as fatigue and foul trouble also began to take their toll on the visiting Tigers. With the Caribs lead swelling close to 40 points at times, both coaches emptied their benches midway through the final quarter, and the Caribs cruised the rest of the way for a comfortable 28-point win and a berth in the finals against the surprising Educational Complex, who went undefeated on the season.
The Caribs were led by "Big Smooth" Williams, who netted a game-high 28. He was well supported offensively by Devon Peters, who finished with 13, and Rashawn Williams chipped in with 12.
The Tigers were led by their star guard, O'Reilly, who finished with 23 and Nelthrop who netted 11 in the losing effort.
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