WYBL GAME OF THE WEEK: Heat take seesaw game over Celtics

Published 12:31 pm Thursday, February 12, 2015

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS RISE UP: Guard DaJour Burney elevates for a jumper in the second quarter.

RISE UP: Guard DaJour Burney elevates for a jumper in the second quarter.

The Heat won a back-and-forth affair over the Celtics, 45-35, on Tuesday at the Seventh Street Bobby Andrews Rec Center.

This week’s Washington Youth Basketball League Game of the Week pitted two teams out of the Junior 13-16 Division looking to make a statement heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

For the Heat, the offense operated through its elusive point guard, returner ZiQuise Blount, whose absence from the floor in the first quarter allowed the frontcourt to carry much of the offensive burden. With Ty’keis Blount running point, Brandon Jackson and Nazier Jackson began to capitalize in the paint, outrebounding the opposition. But Xavier Smaw’s early performance, pulling down all but three of the Celtics’ rebounds and scoring five points, kept his team in the game.

With ZiQuise Blount on the floor for the Heat, the offense became more efficient in terms of opportunities, but it was the Celtics forwards that began to burn the Heat in transition. Guard Zyaire Johnson found Kyrig Moore and Shamarr Taylor down low, the duo scoring a combined 12-second quarter points.

After an early deficit, the Celtics led the Heat, 20-19, at the end of 20 minutes.

In the third quarter, a few defensive adjustments by the Heat led to blank stat line for the Celtics frontcourt, as Johnson and Smaw tried to break down the zone defense. However, after multiple lead changes, an offensive explosion late in the quarter by Brandon Jackson and Carlton Barr opened up the first significant lead of the game in the Heat’s favor.

Through the final 10 minutes, the Celtics desperately tried to get back in the game, shooting errant shots and attempting to draw fouls in the key, though few were granted down the stretch. Brandon Jackson’s rebounding kept the Celtics from chipping away at the lead.

For the Heat, Brandon Jackson led all scorers with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while Barr notched 10 points and eight rebounds. The Celtics’ Smaw finished with a double-double of his own — 10 points and 12 rebounds — while Moore and Taylor both finished with six apiece.

Next on the schedule for the Celtics are the Cavaliers on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., while the Heat will look to continue its winning ways against the Thunder at 4:30 p.m.