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Basketball queens

Nikita President (with ball) bringing the ball up the court while being defended by Springer’s Zakiya Kirton (right).

Nikita President (with ball) bringing the ball up the court while being defended by Springer’s Zakiya Kirton (right).

Graydon Sealy have successfully defended their WIBISCO-sponsored Barbados Secondary Schools Girls’ Basketball title after staving off a very stiff challenge to defeat Springer Memorial 41-38 during a nail-biting final at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex this evening.

It was seesaw battle on the scoreboard between the two familiar opponents, who also did battle in last year’s final. However it was Graydon Sealy who had the early advantage in the first quarter leading 9-6, in what had all the makings of a low-scoring encounter in which defence was the key.

The second quarter was more of the same as a mere two points separated the two teams at 15-17 at the half.†By this time the Springer girls were gaining momentum as they were spurred on by a very vociferous cheering section. This was coupled with smart substitutions by the Springer coach that enabled his girls to run at their opponents harder and eventually overtake Graydon Sealy. The scores were level at 23 points in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the Graydon Sealy coach did not seem to have that much confidence in his bench as it was clear that the Graydon Sealy players had run out of steam, leaving too much work for their star player Nikita President, who finished with a game high 17 points. It took an injury to Shonica Wharton to see the fresh legs of Desiree Durrant introduced and she contributed an invaluable eight points to the Graydon Sealy cause, which were crucial in them taking the lead at 37-35 in the fourth quarter.

It was clear that the pressure of relinquishing the lead was too much for the Springer girls as the number of fouls and turnovers during this period increased significantly, even resulting in two technical fouls to Aneisha Hoyte.

In the end it was two free throws which President converted that drove home the†nails in the coffin for Springer. Rene Burke topped the scoring for Springer with 10 points, while regular season MVP Winmalicia Bowen contributed 8 points.

Summarised scores: Graydon Sealy (17) 41 Nikita President 17, Desiree Durant 8

Springer (15) 38 Winmalicia Bowen 8, Zakiya Kirton 8, Renee Burke 10 Tournament Stats: Five most outstanding players

Winmalicia Bowen – Springer Nikita President – Graydon Sealy Ashlee Daniel – QC Shannon Green – HC Makela Walcott – Combermere Regular Season MVP Winmalicia Bowen – Springer Finals MVP Nikita President – Graydon Sealy††

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