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Basketball queens

Pinelands return to the court with a vengeance

The #1 Beauty Supplies and Beauty Exchange Barbados Amateur Basketball Association Women’s League title now belongs to Braddies Bar & ED Signs Pinelands.

After more than seven years of not fielding a team in the women’s league competition, Pinelands returned this year and placed both hands firmly on the trophy with a convincing 68-55 win over Combined Schools Hoopsters last night at the Barbados Community College, taking the series 2-1. The scores read 10-15, 31-24, 54-41 after three quarters.

Pinelands are the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s Women’s League queens. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

Pinelands are the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s Women’s League queens. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

Sade Clarke a player/coach with Pinelands told Barbados TODAY they took advantage of the fact that Hoopsters, coached by Denise Alleyne and Cosmo Edwards, were a young inexperienced team and that in itself allowed them to clinch the title from Hoopsters who had reached the finals for the first time since 2000.

“The first final we came out and did exactly what we were supposed to do but in the second final the schoolgirls were on to us and we panicked a bit. But then in the third game we came back strong. When we pressured the guards at the top they weren’t able to get the ball into post players and that is where their strengths were because they are way bigger than us in the back so we had to fight and we fought and did a really good job,” said an elated Clarke.

Point guards Maria Cumberbatch, Sade Clarke and captain Tamisha Flatts led from the front once more and were the only three players to reach double figures for Pinelands. Cumberbatch top-scored with 17 points and had seven rebounds. Clarke had 14 points, five assists and three steals. Flatts also had 14 points to go with seven assists and four steals.

Latifa Wood was the only player for Hoopsters to reach double figures with 15 points to go with 16 rebounds. No one else managed more than seven points in the game for Hoopsters.

It was expected that the scoreline would have been much closer but the turning point came in the second quarter. Pinelands with a strong support team were down by five points and a collective effort from Cumberbatch and center Anica Wood, more familiar to volleyball fans, managed to cut the deficit to one point (14-15) before Clarke’s three-pointer gave her side the lead at 17-15.

Latifa Wood (left) fought hard for Combined Schools Hoopsters but to no avail.

Latifa Wood (left) fought hard for Combined Schools Hoopsters but to no avail.

It was from there that they took the momentum away from Hoopsters and eventually at half-time Pinelands had a seven-point advantage at 31-24.

Pinelands began the third quarter just as strong and Hoopsters began to panic and missed a number of easy shots. Their frustration was very evident. Pinelands were clearly in the drivers’ seat with a 13-point lead and they never looked back heading into the fourth period which they would also dominate.

A few teams pulled out of this year’s competition including the Lady Cavaliers who were last year’s double crown queens. Clarke said when she saw that there were only four teams participating this year she sprung into action to ensure the rebirth of Pinelands.

“The girls team was dwindling when a couple teams pulled out. There were only four teams left and for me I love the sport, I do everything pertaining to the sport whether it be refereeing, playing or coaching, so I could not stand on the sideline and see this being a four-team league. So I pulled some girls together in order to help the development,” Clarke, also a national player, said.

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