Tema Youth had to do it the hard way to book its place in the 2019 Accra Basketball League (ABL) Men’s Division I playoffs.
Tema bagged an 87-78 win over Reformers of Prisons in the final game of the regular season and move up to fourth place in the standings. In an exciting but physical game that had emotions get out of hand in spurts, Tema maintained its steady play to clinch the all important win.
Tema scored a pair of three pointers including a rare deep shot from Kwame Boamah Djan. Djan added two more free throws but Mohammed Yakubu scored a three pointer for Reformers as Philip Barley and James Amotoh converted jump shots to tie the game at 12 with 4:53 remaining. The teams traded baskets to end an entertaining first quarter 22-22.
Kofi Elias and Amotoh traded baskets. Tema Guard Brian Kwami drained two three pointers and Elias scored a fast break layup off a Reformers turnover to lead 42-26 with 4:15 left in the second quarter. Nii Ayi Mensah ended the run off a strong drive to finish inside the paint before Amotoh converted two free throws.
Ayienab hit a very late three pointer as Reformers ended the first half on a
good note; Prisons trailed 37-46.
Prisons had a good run in the third quarter and Amotoh’s two handed slam off a missed shot put Reformers within two points of the lead (50-52) with 3:42 remaining. The game was tied at 56 with 1: 36 left and the teams traded three pointers but Tema profited more from the exchange to lead 61-59 heading to the final quarter.
Tema bagged a pair of three pointers sandwiching one from Reformers. Josiah Karikari converted one of two free throws to give Tema a 72-65 lead with 6:12 left on the clock. Joy Ofori scored a three pointer after Barley missed a layup and added another to give Tema an 82-70 lead with 3:18 remaining. Tema held on to win 87-78.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter