The Islanders traveled to Turbeville, SC to face the East Clarendon Wolverines on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. The game was a tight game throughout with the home team receiving the benefit of some home gym calls. The gym was cozy as they are in most small towns, with a stage at one end of the floor. The stands were only a couple feet from the benches and the stands were packed as it seemed like half the town were in attendance.
When the game started , it was clear that the referees were going to allow a physical game at least for the home team. The play was choppy as the referees allowed the Wolverines to push their way around the floor to create some turnovers. The Wolves kept giving the ball back with turnovers as the Islanders tightened down on defense. As the first quarter expired, Tyrus Richardson let loose a runner that hit the bottom of the net and cut the Wolves lead to 11-9 much to the chagrin of the home town crowd. The crowd was showing their displeasure as they thought the shot did not get released in time.
The second quarter saw the Wolverines score the first five points to run their lead to 16-9 before the Islanders woke up. Our bigs were holding their own against theirs and battling for rebounds and the Islanders turned up the defensive pressure. By the end of the physical second quarter, the Islanders trailed 24-21. The first seven foul calls of the game went against the Islanders and at the half the refs had whistled the Islanders for 13 fouls and only 3 fouls on the Wolverines. The Islander boys did not let this get to them and played through the adversity.
The third quarter saw the Islanders take their first lead of the game on a three pointer by Mikey Thomas to go up 31-30. The lead was extended to 36-33 by the end of the quarter and it looked like the Islanders were in position to finish them in the fourth quarter. Tyrus Richardson made an unbelievable acrobatic shot in the quarter finishing a 360 in the air while being hacked(no foul called) off the back board from the elbow. I wish we had video of it because my description does it no justice.
The fourth quarter was much of the same rough and tumble back and forth tight game. With 4:40 to go Mikey Thomas was whistled for his 4th foul, but the scorekeeper for the Wolves said it was his 5th and he was fouled out. This gave the Wolves a huge advantage by taking out the Islanders most physical player and leaving the other post players playing with 4 fouls for the rest of the game. With The Islanders up 3, the Wolverines appeared to turn the ball over by losing the it out of bounds. The ball was batted back in by a spectator standing on the sideline and not one of the three referees “saw” it. The play played on with Coach Hammack visibly upset trying to get their attention. The play ended with the Wolves player tackling Kameron Smiley after he had the rebound and then putting in a basket and with a cruel twist the Islanders were whistled for a foul. Coach Hammack called a timeout shortly after the play and wanted to ask the referee about it and he waived him off and came real close to giving him a technical foul just for asking about this call. The Wolves edged ahead by 3 but the Islanders battled back and tied the score at 49 with less than a minute to go. The Wolves would go on to finish the game on a 5-0 run to win and collect a couple more foul calls in their favor. the last one being on a rebound on the final shot of the game, Levon Traeye tipped in a rebound with .7 seconds left and there was a whistle. It appeared as though the ref was calling a foul on the Wolves on the put back to send Traeye to the line down 54-51. OH NO, That was not the case as the home town ref got one more shot in by fouling out Traeye and waving off the basket ending the game. All I can say is wow, you had to be there to witness it. The fans next to me from East Clarendon said that we were getting a raw deal and that the call with the ball going out of bounds changed the game. Unfortunately for St Johns, they had to hit the road and couldn’t get it done against the Wolverines and the referees too. The final foul count in fouls was Islanders 27, and Wolverines 13. In addition, they called Tyrus for four palming violations in which only one was even close to it. St Johns deserved better than that this year, as they finished with a strong 9-3 record in the region and in third place.
The last two years the Islanders have not received any breaks, last year missing out on a home playoff game by a scoring error at Lowcountry Leadership that cost them the regular season finale and dropped them to 4th in the region. In their playoff game last year at CE Murray they also had a key player fouled out with four fouls in Laryns Givens which changed the outlook of the game. Deja vue this year with Mikey Thomas and throw in the phantom out of bounds call and there’s a recipe for disaster. Let’s hope that the 2018-19 season the luck changes for the Mighty Islanders.
STAT LINES FOR PLAYOFF GAME AT EAST CLARENDON
#5 Tyrus Richardson 4-11 FG, 1-7 3PT, 3-4 FT, 13 PTS
1 STL, 3 ASTS, 1 BLK, 6 TO
#3 Kam Smiley 1-6 FG, 1-5 3PT, 4 PTS
4 REB, 2 STL, 2 ASTS, 4 TO
#15 Mikey Thomas 5-9 FG, 1-2 3PT, 11 PTS
8 REB, 5 STL, 4 BLK, 1 TO
#10 Tyler Durham 2-12 FG, 1-4 3PT 4-7 FT , 9 PTS
8 REB, 2 STL, 1 TO
#11 Kenny Thomas 0-7 FG, 0-2 3PT, 4-4 FT, 4 PTS
8 REB, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO
#1 Devin Roby 1-4 FG, 0-2 3PT, 1-2 FT, 3 PTS
1 REB, 1 STL, 3 TO
#21 Levon Traeye 2-5 FG, 1-4 FT, 5 PTS
3 REB, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO
#4 Patrick Washington 0-0 FG, 0 PTS
This was the last time that these four seniors will play basketball for the Islanders: AJ Fraser, Kenny Thomas, Mikey Thomas and Kam Smiley. We sure will miss them as they go on to college and grow into the next stage in their life. You could tell that these guys cared for each other and played hard for each other until the end and we are proud of them and wish them success in their future endeavors on and off the court. Thanks for showing love for the Islanders by giving your heart and soul out there on the court. As your memories of the games fade, you will still remember your teammates and the good times you had to together.
Next year the Islanders will turn to current juniors, Tyrus Richardson, Tyler Durham, Patrick Washington, Devin Roby, Mickell Grant, and Levon Traeye to fill the void. We’ll look to some JV players to step up like Jamal Williams to carry the torch into 2018-9.