EVEN THE OLD ONES are 'newbies' in Warrens.
Forty-year-old American rookie Lance Posey had a game-high 16 points and ten rebounds, including seven points in a crucial fourth quarter stretch as basketball's Premier League champs started their title defence with Tuesday's 85-75 win over Co-operators General Tridents at the Wildey Gym.
The testing season opener was a rather encouraging start to a new era for a Warrens side that now features six key rotation players under the age of 25 in the absence of veterans Peter Alleyne, Pearson Griffith, Kevin Austin and Zahir Motara.
But the champs still had to rely on some experience when it counted, with Posey thrice thwarting menacing second half rallies, including a threatening run that pulled the inexperienced schoolboys within one (74-73) with four minutes to play.
Greig Springer answered with a knifing drive just seconds later though, before Posey added two baskets in the paint and Richie Walker capped the decisive 11-2 finish with a pull-up three-pointer off the dribble.
It was the story of the night's proceedings as the champs somehow found a response every time the pesky Tridents side threatened to take a lead after battling back from a double-digit deficit.
Falling behind 32-42 at the half, the schoolboys rallied behind Alejandro Boxhill and Jimal Singh to get within four points only to watch layups from Walker, George Farrell and Dario Cumberbatch push Warrens' lead to 55-45.
However, Tridents were back at it again, with Jae Harris igniting another surge with an 'and-one' drive before point guard Anand Joseph-Thorpe capped the 10-4 rally with a spectacular runner to beat the third quarter buzzer.
Posey seemingly stole their moment with three successive free throws to start the fourth but the schoolboys simply rattled off points via Orion Seale in the open court - the last two which brought Tridents within one (74-73).
Springer finished with 15 points, Walker added 12, while Farrell scored 11. For the schoolboys, Boxhill top scored with 12, Harris had 11 points and 14 rebounds, while rookie Antoine Morris also had a double-double of ten points and ten boards.
In the night's other game, Daniel Lovell scored a game-high 17 points and Charles Vanderpool added 14 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks to lead Pinelands to a 63-40 rout of a listless Warriors team.
The blowout was on from the opening tip as Lovell and Decarlo Skeete split four first quarter three-pointers between them in a 20-4 start. Warriors managed to get within single digits thereafter, but just once, holding Pinelands to two points over the first six minutes of the second quarter to reduce the deficit to 24-18.
However, Pinelands scored seven of the last nine points to end the half, including Vanderpool's buzzer beating basket, before outscoring Warriors 18-7 in the ensuing third quarter. Rico Thorpe added ten points and 11 rebounds, while Kevin John led Warriors with 14 points.
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