Read the Full Story at Cayman Sports Buzz! http://www.caymansportsbuzz.com/three-straight-titles-for-lady-warriors/
Photo Credit: Wil Bignal Photography
No one saw it coming. Everyone knows that building a team takes time, especially when most of your players are new to the sport. This was the Islanders in 2016. They went through the 2016 season without a win, but established themselves as a “take no prisoners”, rough and tough team. There was one critical ingredient that the team was missing…..EXPERIENCE.
However, this year came as a shock to the other opponents who expected to pretty much the same team. But when the defending Champions – Lady Warriors – saw some veterans step onto the court for the Islanders, their smiles disappeared quickly! And for good reason. By the time the smoke cleared, the defending champions found themselves in shock; losing to the Islanders 42-33. With the addition of players like Jennifer Cotarelo-Choice, Renee Thompson, Scimone Campbell, Krystle Barrett and Christsania Parker, the Islanders are now a force to be reckoned with.
The 2016 finals runner up, Dream, took on the new league sensation, the Islanders on May 7th at the Clifton Hunter High School Gym.
This year’s Islanders team has definitely 10X’ed their performance compared to last year, with additions such as Scimone Campbell, Jennifer Cottarelo-Choice, Krystle Barrett, Renee Thompson and Christsania Parker. The game was fast and furious, seeing lead change after lead change and big play after big play. But in the 4th quarter, Eve Lunn turned on the heat and made the Islanders pay for leaving her open on the 3-point line, hitting four huge baskets from behind the arc and putting the Dream out front.
Women’s basketball continues to heat up as the national women’s league is enjoying very balanced competitive games. The women of valor took on the Islanders who are much stronger this year and have gotten off to a great start by defeating the defending champions, Lady Warriors, in their season debut. The woman of valor however wanted to make sure that this start would not continue with them. Led by Guiesha Smith, The women of valor played a very up tempo game and focused their efforts on Islanders’ leader Scimone Chin. Both teams were neck and neck for the vast majority of the game and it was only until the final four minutes of the fourth quarter that the women of valor were finally able to pull away and get a small amount of breathing room.
Final Score 45-40 in favor of Women of Valor who are the only undefeated team thus far and will face the Lady Warriors this coming Sunday.
Guiesha Smith led the WOV with 14 points, 17 rebounds and 6 blocks.
Jade Wheeler also posted 14 points, but added 9 rebounds and 3 steels to her tally.
For the Islanders, Scimone Chin had 6 points, a league high 13 steals and 11 rebounds, just shy of a triple double.
Teammate Renee Thompson had a monster game on the boards, pulling down 18 rebounds. Jennifer Cotarelo-Choice also had an impressive game, finishing with 8 points, 6 steals and 6 assists.
Photo Credit: Wil Bignal Photography
The defending champions Lady Warriors were able to defeat their rivals the Dream despite suffering their first loss in their season opener.
The Warriors, led by Captain Dionne Anglin, got off to an early start, pounding the ball down in the post and taking advantage of their post mismatches. The Dream made A few runs in an attempt to bring the game back but each time they cut the deficit the Warriors would take a turn of their own and open the lead back up. Although Maggie Ebanks fouled out halfway through the third quarter the Lady Warriors were able to hold off the Dream to a final score of 34-29. In the end, the Warriors defense proved too difficult for the Dream to overpower as the warriors had a team league high 10 blocks and also had 17 second chance opportunities.
For the Warriors, Dionne Anglin led with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Teammate Stacey Kelly added 4 points, a game high 18 rebounds and 4 blocks.
For the Dream: Kimberley Ebanks led with 9 points and 10 rebounds.
Basketball season in the Cayman Islands is once again off to a successful start. Led by the Cayman Islands Basketball Association (CIBA), several leagues and clinics have taken shape offering vast opportunities to participate in this growing sport on Island. Whether a veteran or beginner, young or “seasoned”, female or male, all are more than welcome to come out and participate.
CIBA provides a fun, safe environment to engage in the sport of basketball, learn about teamwork and commitment as well as gain local and international recognition. CIBA provides youth the opportunity to play overseas at the High School and/or Collegiate level. To date, over a dozen local male and female youth have continued their education overseas through participation in CIBA programs.
These opportunities would not be possible without CIBA sponsorship. PwC generously continues their community outreach through their longstanding sponsorship of The PwC Basketball Under 16 Boys and Girls Leagues. Additionally, KPMG once again has been gracious in sponsoring The KPMG Basketball Under 14 Boys and Girls Leagues. Amongst many other benefits, these sponsorships allow proper statistical record keeping along with the opportunity to play games indoors, crucial for player development.
Stay tuned for updates and developments as the basketball season persists, including plans for a new facility, along with upcoming basketball related events taking place within the Cayman Islands.
For more information including sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michael Diamond at +1 (345) 916-2430 and / or Coach Voot at +1 (345) 916-5083 or visit http://caymanbasketball.com/
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
-John Wooden (Renowned Basketball Player and Coach)
Start Date: February 19, 2017
End Date: End of May, 2017
Location: Sundays at Clifton Hunter High School, Thursdays at the ARC at Camana Bay or the CIBA Court on Eastern Avenue
Start Date: April 23rd
End Date: TBD
Location: Clifton Hunter High School
The PwC Basketball Under 16 League (Boys and Girls)
Start Date: April 1, 2017
End Date: June 3, 2017
Location: Clifton Hunter High School on Saturdays, 4 PM – 6 PM (Girls) and 6 PM – 8PM (Boys)
Sponsor Statement: Craig Smith, Partner at PwC says, “PwC is proud to support the PwC Basketball Under 16 boys and girls leagues as we believe that organizations such as CIBA provide a positive outlet for the youth of the Cayman Islands and encourages the kids to stay active, develop their talents and provides local and overseas opportunities which in turn forms a strong foundation for success in the future. We also recognize the individuals who are vital to running the league efficiently by volunteering their time and efforts to ensure the season is a successful one.”
(From left to right: Coach Voot (CIBA), Leslie Wilson (PwC), Craig Smith (PwC), Michael Diamond (CIBA))
The KPMG Basketball Under 14 League (Boys and Girls)
Start Date: End of March, 2017
End Date: May 11, 2017
Location: 3:15 PM or 3:30 PM Mondays and Thursdays at various venues (Boys), 3:30 PM Tuesdays and Wednesdays at various venues (Girls)
Sponsor Statement: “KPMG continues to support the Under 14 Basketball program as we see the value and benefits over the years that the students receive from participating, thanks to Coach Victor “Voot” O’Garro and his colleagues. We have seen the success of some of the participants continuing abroad and we look forward to the future success of other students in the program.” Andrew Stepaniuk, Partner at KPMG in the Cayman Islands stated.
(One of the John Gray High School Academy Teams Posing at halftime of a recent match in the KPMG Basketball Under 14 League play)
One thing is for sure; Basketball is alive and well in Cayman!