Home News Local sports Gerard Scores 24 as Aces Trump Lightning

Gerard Scores 24 as Aces Trump Lightning

Gerard Scores 24 as Aces Trump Lightning

Aces sharpshooter Khalid Gerard, guard closely by Lightning’s Kareem Degrasse.The St. Thomas Aces pulled away late to beat the St. Croix Lightning, 78-70, Saturday night in the new Hurricane Basketball League (HBL) at the Ronald Charles gymnasium on the Central High Campus.

With the game knotted at 58 after three quarters, Khalid Gerard scored eight of his game-high 24 points in the deciding fourth to lead his team to victory in the tightly played contest.

“I think we controlled the game for the most part,” said Lightning Coach Donald Bough. ”We just let it get away from us in the end.”

For Aces Coach Jo-Jo Gumbs, it was pure “headache” in the early goings.

“I just don’t know,” he said. “We practice one thing, and in the game they do something completely different. Luckily, we were able to come together enough in the fourth quarter to get the win.”

The Lightning, who opened the contest on a 10-2 run and were led by 12 first-quarter points from point guard Joelfry Polanco, looked like they would run the Aces off the RCG floor and all the way back to St. Thomas. The Aces recovered, however, to close the first period on a 16-11 run to trail by just three at 21-18.

The Aces’ momentum continued into the second quarter, and they were able to tie the game at 27 with 5:10 left in the half. They then took their first lead of the contest at 35-33 with 2:30 to go.

The Lightning, however, responded with a 7-2 run to close out the first half with a three-point lead at 40-37.

The Aces opened the second half on a 17-7 run to take a seven-point lead midway through the third period at 54-47, but the Lightning again responded with an 11-4 run to draw even at 58 after three quarters.

The stage was now set for what looked to be an exciting finish, and for the most part it was, but some good defense by the Aces as well as the shooting of Gerard sealed the victory. Some untimely mistakes by the home team down the stretch also aided the victors.

The Aces were led offensively by their sharpshooter, Gerard, who although good throughout the contest, saved his best work for the last quarter, finishing with 24 points.

Although the Aces got points from 10 of their 11 players, the only other player in double figures was Jamari Maduro, who knocked down 15 points for the visitors. Polanco netted 22 points through three quarters but finished with just 24 as he was basically shut down in the fourth by the Aces’ defense. Teammate Bobby Evans, the other Lightning in double figures, finished with 17 points.


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