Champs make it a repeat
They are royalty in name and achievement.
Queen’s College captured their second consecutive basketball title this afternoon with a hard-fought 39-32 victory over the plucky Springer Memorial in the final of 2014/2015 WIBISCO Senior Girls Basketball Tournament at the Wildey Gymnasium.
Behind their victory was another sterling performance by their unquestioned Most Valuable Player Ashley Daniel who collected 25 points out of that winning total.
The contest was a fluctuating affair with the girls giving no quarter, especially on defence, and making every effort to get the ascendancy on offence, even though both were guilty of missing some scoring opportunities. At the end of the first quarter that was marked by some stifling defence on both sides of the floor, the score was locked at six apiece. Springer then took command in the second quarter and opened up a six-point advantage, going into the half-time break leading 15-9.
But showing true champions’ mettle the girls from Husbands, St. James fought hard to pull back the third quarter, bringing parity to the scoreline and then ending the period with a slim 22-21 advantage. The fourth and decisive quarter saw the girls contesting every loose ball and challenging every possession. It was no surprise when that period ended with the teams locked at 29 and the need to go into overtime
After losing to Springer Memorial during their earlier match-up in the tournament, Queen’s College now delivered when it mattered most with Niara Forde contributing 11 points and taking some of the offensive responsibilities off Daniel. For Springer Memorial Zakiya Kirton scored 12 points while Renee Burke and Shakiela Smith got five points each. Winmarie Bowen was largely a disappointment on the offensive end in the final for the Government Hill girls.
The first two quarters of the game got off to a rather slow start for both teams with several missed attempts at basket. Then Springer Memorial guard Kirton scored five points in the second quarter which helped to give her team a considerable spark. Things however got interesting in the third quarter when Queen’s College were down 19-17 and small forward Daniel scored a lay-up and locked the score at 19 all. Then Kristin Callender scored a free throw for Queen’s College to give them the lead 20-19. Just before the third quarter ended Daniel scored another two of her ten points in the period to put her team in the lead going into the fourth quarter.
When the decisive quarter began Queen’s College shooting guard Forde scored two points but Bowen levelled the score for Springer at 24 all. Queen’s College had a couple turn overs and were also beaten on the boards during this period but Springer Memorial failed to fully capitalize on these opportunities. Queen’s College took the lead again but Springer Memorial fought their way back into the game thanks to Burke and Smith who scored important baskets to lock the score as regulation time ran out amid the screams of supporters.
The game went into overtime and that was the defining moment for Daniel. The talented teen showed Springer Memorial just what she’s made of with a virtuoso performance. Daniel scored ten crucial points during overtime for Queen’s College, most of which were made as a result of challenging Springer’s defence and driving through the paint. It was a final determined effort by a champion player and Springer Memorial simply had no answer.
Latifah Wood of Graydon Sealy was later named the league MVP. Wood was also named among the top five players of the tournament which included Daniel, Shonica Wharton of Graydon Sealy, Sheniqua Thomas of Combermere and Shakiella Smith of Springer Memorial.