Rising Stars wins Zero Tolerance league championship

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ST. THOMAS - The Rising Stars defied all odds by winning the 2012 Zero Tolerance 9-12 Drug Free Basketball League on Saturday.

The Stars went into the tournament as a fourth seed and knocked off the first place team, Come 2 Defend, 38-36.

The Stars jumped out to a 9-4 first quarter output and scored 12 more points in the second to lead, 21-9 at the half.

LaQuan George and Come 2 Defend came alive in the third as he scored 10 of the team's 15 points to inch within 29-24. The run continued in the fourth quarter as Shaquan Jn-Charles and big man Jeremiah George made baskets to help C2D tie the game at 34 apiece with a little more than a minute remaining.

Collins Joseph Jr. put on a free-throw shooting clinic by making four out of six free throws to win the game for the Stars. Joseph finished with 12 points, while Omar Lopez and A Henderson both chipped in eight points.

LaQuan George led C2D with 12 points and Jeremiah George added 10.

In the first semifinal game of the day, Jah Youths held off the Shakers, 23-21. The game was nip and tuck the whole way with no team having a lead bigger than five points and the game tied at 17 at the end of three quarters.

Isaiah Harvey took over the game by scoring six of his 10 points in the quarter to guide Jah Youths to victory.

Jourdyn Rawlins and Himoi Andrews each had five points for the Shakers.

With the Rising Stars coming off a tough game and only 15 minutes off rest between games, the Rising Stars walloped a well rested Jah Youths team, 48-37.

The Stars got off to a fast start with a 17-10 first quarter lead. Jah Youths responded with 12 points in the second quarter to inch within 23-22. Collins Joseph scored eight points and Omar Lopez added seven points in the third as the Stars took a commanding 40-28 lead.

Lopez had a season's best 20 points in the game, and Joseph added 14.

Harvey led Jah Youths with 15 points and Cahmal Donovan chipped in 14 points.

The Stars are now both the 2012 Summer League champs and the Drug Free League champs. Javaughn Douglas of JahYouths took home the league's Sportsmanship Award.

The leage was sponsored by Sure Short Praises, USVI Government, USVI Port Authority, The Home Depot, West Indies Corp., Pressure, Bambu Station, D&H Printery, PAL, VDO4U, and Redhook Agencies.

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