Junior Rangers absorbed a partisan crowd at the Lebanon House Court in Tudu to beat home side Spartans 65-52 in the opening game of the round before Junior Reformers delivered a peach of a performance to down Akatsi Rifles 93-53.
Both games lived up to the billing as neither was played in a languid mood and got fans gathered at the venue pumped up.
Rangers proved unstoppable in the opening exchanges taking a 30-19 lead but Spartans got its act together to ensure the first quarter ended with the side trailing by seven points (25-32). Key to the team’s spike in performance was Point Guard Raymond Afram who scored a jump shot, converted free throws and blocked a shot.
However, the young guard got caught in the euphoria and got hit with a technical foul after slamming the ball.
Rangers Cecil Arthur converted a three point shot to get his side’s control of the game back stretching the lead to 46-37 with 1:57 remaining in the third quarter. Spartans spurned many opportunities from the free throw line chief with Afram the biggest culprit.
Rangers did have luck putting the ball in the basket mainly via fastbreaks but Center Emmanuel Ocquaye put the result beyond Spartans with a neat up and under layup.
The second tie was as exciting as the first as Rifles and Reformers played out a sensational game. Akatsi failed to fully utilize opening created by standout Guards Makafui Agudzemegah and Opel Afawubo as the side fell to Junior Reformers.
Unlike its opponents, Prisons rode on the back of a balanced team to claim the impressive win with the likes of Emmanuel Odamtten, Mawusi Kalla, Jeffrey Abakisi and Mishael Jamani taking turns to dominate one quarter or the other.
Reformers set the tone early with a ruthless display from the charity stripe to make way for Jeffrey Narh and Quasi Tetteh to drill three point shots and get the win despite Akatsi’s impressive duo.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter