The Rainbow Warrior basketball team survived a late comeback from the Trojans of Troy University to come out with a 72-67 overtime victory earlier this evening at the Stan Sheriff Center.
With the win, the Warriors advance to 3-0 on the young season and are the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic champions after sweeping through the competition.
“It felt real good, obviously, to win a championship,” said point guard Brocke Stepteau. “That was our first goal of the season, which was to win the Rainbow. So we did that and the way we did it it kind of like yesterday. Hard fought game down the stretch.”
The Warriors led for the majority of the game but allowed the Trojans to march back into contention, erasing a double-digit deficit with just five minutes remaining in the game.
A clutch three-pointer courtesy of Troy’s Jordon Varnado from about 24-feet from the basket with just seconds left in the ballgame forced overtime, much to the dismay of the Warrior faithful.
Varnado led all scorers with a game-high 25 points, but the Warriors did a good job at containing Wesley Person, who finished 16 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
For Hawaii, Sheriff Drammeh had a team-high 15 points with five rebounds and five assists off the bench while Jack Purchase and Gibson Johnson scored 12 points apiece. Stepteau added 10 points to the team’s tally and Mike Thomas, who had a career-high 29 points on Sunday, scored just eight points.
It wasn’t the prettiest of games for the Warriors but at the end of the day, a win's a win.
“You have to win games like that to be considered a good team,” Stepteau said. “So I’m glad we were able to do that in a championship game and get the job done.”
The Warriors will have a bit of off time to correct any mistakes they made against Troy as they don’t play until Friday, November 24 against Nevada at the Stan Sheriff Center.
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