In front of a large and enthusiastic home crowd, the SMUS Senior boys basketball team moved to the top of the AA provincial rankings following an edgy, tense 56-53 win over previous #1 Lambrick Park.
Fuelled by Danny Wu and Graeme Hyde-Lay, who combined for sixteen of the Blue Jags’ 20 first quarter points, SMUS took control early. However, an 11-0 run on either side of the quarter break soon had the Lions back in the hunt, with the teams going to halftime tied at 25.
Some offensive adjustments and more hot shooting by Wu saw SMUS wrestle back the advantage in the second half. Indeed, up 45-30 with nine minutes to play, the Blue Jags looked in pole position to record a comfortable win.
However, in another huge momentum shift, Lambrick Park started launching three pointers from all over the court, hitting five of them while post Jacob Barnard converted several other offensive rebound chances. With SMUS again unable to generate any consistent offence, the lead shriveled, despite a very timely trey from Liam Catto and six of Matt Rud’s 13 points.
With 12 seconds to play, after SMUS managed only one of two free throws, the Lions had a final chance to send the game into overtime. Happily for the hosts, a corner three rattled out and SMUS escaped with a 56-53 victory.
Wu’s 19 points led all scorers, with Rud (13) and Hyde-Lay (11) also in double figures. Max Pollen played a vital second half defensive role, helping hold Lambrick Park star point guard Ismail Abdulahi scoreless.
SMUS will have no chance to rest on any laurels, as the explosive and AA #3 ranked RC Palmer Griffins come to town Friday. Game time is 8:30 pm at Lambrick Park.