Reigning ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup champions Kingston College made an impressive showing in their preseason preparations as they walked away champions of the 2019 Yardie Sports Challenge Cup on Sunday at their school’s field.They began the day with a positive result after turning back opponents Calabar with a 1-0 victory to conclude the first round of matches in the tournament.The road to the final for the champions was made secure when their semi-final fixture against Hydel High was unable to be played, giving the hosts a bye to the final.A source inside the Hydel camp said that their absence was due to injuries and exhaustion, which left them unable to field a team. The organisers of the competition said that this was because of the number of matches the team has played over the course of its preseason so far.In the second semi-final fixture, St Catherine High booked a clash with Kingston College when they defeated Calabar High in a close 1-0 encounter. The solitary strike came off the head of striker Rajneil Brown, who watched his header bounce into the net after a goalkeeping mistake from Calabar.In the final fixture, Kingston College ran out as comfortable victors with an efficient 3-0 drubbing of St Catherine. MOMENT OF MAGIC It took only seven minutes for the champions to get on the scoresheet, when Chris Pearson’s header found the back of the net from a corner. He would return for another goal just seven minutes later when a rousing shot struck the arm of a St Catherine defender in the box and Pearson calmly converted from the spot.The game was sealed in the 21st minute when a moment of magic from Jahmari Morrison added his team’s third of the evening. Collecting the ball at the edge of the area, Morrison slipped from the attention of his marker with a drop of the shoulder before a deft touch floated the ball over the head of the back-pedalling St Catherine custodian. Ludlow Bernard, coach of Kingston College, felt that this competition was a good indication of his team’s readiness.“I feel the competition played its purpose,” he said. “We got the opportunity to see how the players are under a tournament environment with spectators. It gave some good indication as to the levels of some of the players and the levels of our combinations that we’re trying out.”His opposite, Anthony Patrick, coach of St Catherine High, felt that the competition allowed his team to see the areas that needed work going forward.“Defensively, we looked like we could get things in place despite giving up three early goals. Our offence, we will need to fix and fix quickly,” Patrick explained. “Our goalscoring is a factor. We only scored one goal to come into the final, so we need to work on that.” – Gregory Bryce
AUBURN – Gus Malzahn may believe in South Carolina far more than Steve Spurrier does.The Gamecocks (4-3, 2-3 SEC) haven’t shown anything in the last month to suggest they can beat fifth-ranked Auburn (5-1, 2-1), but Malzahn believes the ol’ ball coach will have his team ready Saturday.“He’s a great competitor,” Malzahn said. “He’s one of the better coaches to ever come through the SEC. You know he’ll have his team ready. I told our players this the other day, like I said, they were ranked in the top 10 to start the season for a reason. They’ve won 11 games, what, two or three years straight. They’ve got good players. We expect to get their best.”[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s8kJQqFsnc&w=560&h=315%5DMalzahn has the utmost respect and admiration for Spurrier. He wears a visor because of him. Fell in love with his style of play going back to Spurrier’s ‘Fun ‘n Gun” offense at Florida. Wishes he had a golf game like Spurrier, too.“He’s better than I am,” Malzahn said to the amusement of reporters Tuesday. “I don’t like that.”Spurrier is probably wishing they were playing 18 holes Saturday instead of four quarters at Jordan-Hare Stadium. South Carolina is a 17.5-point underdog.“Weve got to play our A-game, bring our A-game and see if we can get break or two,” Spurrier said during his Tuesday press conference in Columbia. “And see what happens at Auburn on Saturday night.”Auburn has been simmering for two weeks after losing at now No. 1 Mississippi State. The Tigers can’t afford another loss if they want to play for a conference and national title. So Spurrier can be certain the Gamecocks are going to get Auburn’s best.Malzahn admires Spurrier, but he’s studied him, too. With two weeks to prepare, he’s going to have the Tigers ready for this one. South Carolina is 89th nationally in run defense (181.7 yards allowed per game), which doesn’t bode well against Auburn’s read-option running game. The Tigers are averaging 262 yards to rank 13th in country in rushing.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBoMvyMq0S4&w=560&h=315%5DPlus Spurrier is 0-5 against Auburn as a head coach at South Carolina. The Gamecocks are 1-9-1 all-time versus the Tigers. I love Spurrier’s wit, charm and coaching ability, but this is a tall order for him to overcome.This is when he has been at his best, but South Carolina doesn’t looked like a team capable of rising to the moment to beat a formidable team even with Spurrier on the sidelines.“You got to believe you’ve got a chance if your team plays very well,” Spurrier said. “So we’re going with the idea that we’re going to get in a battle with them. We know we’ve got to play well offensively, defensively and on special teams. Hopefully they’ll drop the ball a little bit. Something good like that will happen for us.”The reason South Carolina was ranked ninth in the preseason AP poll is because it won 11 games in each of the last three seasons. Even though the Gamecocks hadn’t won an SEC title, it seemed primed to achieve that goal this year.Somehow it got lost the Gamecocks lost their most talented player — defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Say what you want about his desire or playing cautious to stay healthy for the NFL, but Clowney going at 80 percent was better than anyone else on the team going 100. So that was a much bigger loss than anyone cared to admit.On top of that, the Gamecocks lost starting quarterback Connor Shaw and 2013 leading receiver Bruce Ellington. Plus they had more holes to fill on defense outside of having to replace the eventual top overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.So when Texas A&M came to Columbia where South Carolina had won 18 games in a row, 19 looked to be money in the bank. Johnny Manziel was now in the NFL. This Kenny Hill guy couldn’t beat the Gamecocks in their home stadium, right?Then Hill just beat South Carolina like a drum. He threw for a school-record 511 yards and three touchdowns in leading Aggies to what was then considered an upset victory The win has decreased in value because of how the Gamecocks done since.Now beating No. 6 Georgia was big. Even though the Bulldogs will forever second guess not giving Todd Gurley the ball in the red zone late in the game, that was a typically Spurrier win. So at that time, I thought the Gamecocks were about to get it going.Then I watched the Vanderbilt game.South Carolina was down 14-0 in the first quarter and gave up two kickoffs for touchdowns to the SEC’s worst team. The Gamecocks wound up winning, 48-34, but it just wasn’t a good showing – and things haven’t gotten any better.South Carolina has lost its last two conference games with one coming against traditional SEC bottom dweller Kentucky. The Wildcats are much improved, but South Carolina hadn’t lost more than two games in each of its previous three seasons.The Gamecocks dropped to 3-3 after that defeat. They beat FCS school Furman last week, but that’s not a season-turning win.Beating Auburn would be. I honestly thought by this time in the season, South Carolina would be on a roll. The Gamecocks are from that, but if there is one coach who can pull off the upset when no one thinks he can, it’s the ol ball coach.“We’re going to give it our best shot and see what happens,” Spurrier said.So Malzahn has reason to be concerned.
Junior Hercules, head-coach of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Association (GABF) Senior Men’s team has revealed that the recently hosted sessions in the ongoing World Association of Basketball Coaches (WABC) Online Clinic, focused on developing offensive and defensive strategies which can be utilised over a long-term period. This statement was made by Hercules, who also is the GABF National 3×3 coordinator, during an exclusive interview yesterday with Stabroek Sport.According to Hercules, the subjects discussed during this period focused on creating structured offensive tactics which could be maintained. He elaborated, “The clinic’s focus over the last four weeks were: Development of systematic offensive Strategy with a focus on continuity. Most of what was demonstrated and expressed require high IQ players in the atmosphere conducive to learning.”Conversely, Hercules further revealed that the defensive tactics which were discussed, are beneficial to all sections of the sport, whether senior, junior or professional, but must be implemented to suit Guyana’s respective physical boundaries. He stated, “I tried to listen with the mindset of advancing the national programme taking into consideration Guyana’s physical limitation. The defensive system and modern basketball by Coach John Calipari were instructive and extremely useful for Junior, Senior, and professional levels. I am excited about the remaining three weeks especially from coach Patrick Mutombo a professional who focused on ‘Passing and Catching the Ball’.”The Coaching Clinics are being live streamed on the WABC’s Facebook channel twice a week. The clinics are presented by outstanding Coaches with Olympic Games, FIBA Basketball World Cups, NBA, WNBA, Youth World Cups and NBA/FIBA Basketball without Borders coaching experience. It is free to all interested parties compliments of the WABC and anyone can subscribe to FIBA YouTube Channel and tune in on the remaining days listed below.Remaining Course Time Table Week 9July 2, 14:00 (CET) “Screening the Zone Defense & Motion Offense with No Screens” with Coach Patrick HuntWeek 10 July 7, 14:00 (CET) “Shooting” with Coach Rick Carlisle