Defense is key factor in dominant run says Stingerz Coach

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By Carlena Knight

Defense was the key factory says Coach Michael Freeland of the undefeated Northside Stingerz.

Stingerz in their latest match on ‘Super Sunday’ at JSC defeated Potters Steelers 70-59 in what many consider a one-sided affair.

“It’s one that we have been stressing over the season. I mean when you look at the professional level in the NBA, you would realise who are the teams that are dominating, it is the team’s that are playing the best defense. We figured if we emulate some of that and play some good defense, then it will be difficult to do such because I mean on the offensive end we don’t cringe to shoot points so it’s just [about] stopping the other team from scoring,” he said.

The Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association Division One match-up saw a number of players from the green team step up, mainly Akeem Boyd and Moriba Defreitas who both hail from Trinidad and Tobago.

Boyd led the now 5-0 Stingerz team with 16 points while Defreitas was a beast on the defensive end grabbing 12 rebounds and recording four blocked shots. James Barbee Jr assisted banking 10 points.

Freeland spoke on the impact Defreitas brings to the team.

“He is a passionate individual, he is our best rim protector, so once he’s in the middle performing, well you can see the fear in other opponents eyes and they don’t even want to come close to the rim, so they will settle for jump shots which is what you want as a team. With his presence in the game, you get that grit, that grind, that big body in the middle, and definitely a rim protector.”

Cohen Desouza had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Steelers while teammate Jacob Lloyd chipped in scoring 13 in a losing effort.

Defending champions F and G Trading Cuties Ovals Ojays also pushed their undefeated record to 5-0 after trouncing Baldwin Braves 87-61 on Sunday.

National player, Raviel Burton, led the Ojays with a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds.

Joshua Minner assisted netting 19 and captain Bryan “Hollywood” Matthew contributed making 16 and snatching seven rebounds.

Matthew, while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show on Monday, commended Burton on his performance and what it means for the team overall.

“I am more than pleased with him. I think he is my player for the week, he had 27 last week so he’s been really just doing well, and his confidence has been really growing, and it can only go well. He himself is a player, and once he gets going and we are doing well around him it’s scary to think of what can happen in the red, white and blue.

“The dynamic is different. Guys are just getting better. I just try to focus on mine and let everybody have fun, keep balanced and just play basketball and I think last night was nice. We had five players in double figures last night, so just that whole distribution of the ball goes well for us winning, and I hope it continues as we prepare for whoever is next and continue with the same mantra,” Matthew added. Braves’ Felix Hamilton had 19 points in a losing effort.

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