First strike

Cavaliers turn back UWI’s game challenge

Knockout queens Station Hill Cavaliers have taken game one in the best of three series of the No. 1 Beauty Supply and Beauty Exchange sponsored-Barbados Amateur Basketball Association Women’s League final. Last night the women from Station Hill defeated the University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds 54-50 in a thriller at the Barbados Community College.

Led by their in-form point guard Tamisha Flatts with 17 points and shooting guard Maria Cumberbatch who notched 16, the Cavaliers’ ladies not only eventually took the game but led after the end of first and third quarters, with UWI holding a slight advantages at the end of the second 12-9, 28-31, 44-39.

Station Hill Cavaliers Point Guard Tamisha Flatts top scored with 17 and goes high for another one of her three pointers while Tonya Corbin with arms out stretch looks to block her. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay).
Station Hill Cavaliers Point Guard Tamisha Flatts top scored with 17 and goes high for another one of her three pointers while Tonya Corbin with arms out stretch looks to block her. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay).

The ever-consistent Ria Phillips also announced her presence on court with 14 points for Cavaliers who definitely are now one step closer to achieving the double crown.

Tonya Corbin and Jade Browne-McConnell were the only two players to reach double figures with ten points for UWI. Credit though must be given to Tiffany Thorpe who had nine points in the game and was terrific on the boards ripping down 14 rebounds. McConnell had 12 boards and Sade Haynes pulled down ten rebounds. Yet, UWI failed to capitalize on the ball possession gained from their strong rebounding and to translate that into points.

Station Hill ladies did not have that many rebounds but capitalized on every UWI lapse, especially on turnovers and made the Campus girls pay dearly for their offensive shortcomings. Yet it wasn’t a rout and UWI would later rue their missed opportunities.

Ria Phillips made University of the West Indies defenders work hard whenever she had ball possession and here she goes for another lay-up.
Ria Phillips made University of the West Indies defenders work hard whenever she had ball possession and here she goes for another lay-up.

As expected Cavaliers’ ladies led from the start but not by a huge margin and UWI deserves credit for bringing themselves back into the encounter at the end of the second period with a three-point advantage at 31-28. This was thanks to a collective effort from Jada Saunders who did not feature much at the beginning but came out at the second quarter and contributed seven points, Thorpe who had five, Corbin and Haynes with four each and Browne-McCollin two as the university ladies tallied 22 points in the period.

Cavalier needed not worry or so they appeared. Cumberbatch with a two-pointer followed by Flatts who nailed one of her three three-pointers during the game, put the Station Hill ladies back out front. UWI never let up, though, and kept close tabs on their opponents. The scores were tied at 39-39 at one stage but a two-pointer from Shakira Shorey and three from Flatts took care of that deadlock and gave the bosses of women’s basketball the lead once again at the end of the penultimate quarter.

That set up the fourth and decisive quarter to be an exciting one and being down by only five points UWI knew they were still in with a chance of defeating Cavaliers for the first tine this season. Corbin netted two to push UWI on to 41. Down the stretch it would be the trio of Flatts, Cumberbatch and Phillips on the floor to make a difference on the offensive side of play as the teams traded baskets.

With the clock ticking down the scores were levelled at 46-46. Then Ashida Hinds who ended with six points overall and Corbin found two each that made it 50 for UWI but Cavaliers were not about to hand their opponents a win that easily. Cumberbatch and Flatts rose to the occasion, utilized the wings well and break inside the semi-circle for some vital twos that ultimately gave Cavaliers the four point victory with UWI marooned on 50 points and failing to add to their tally as time swiftly expired.

The second game is tomorrow at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

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