Several upsets and nail biting games defined the finals series of the Bequia Basketball Annual Tournament, which came to an exciting conclusion to hundreds of patrons last Saturday and Sunday nights at the Clive Tannis Hard Court in Bequia.
Bequia Tech Rising Stars led the standings in the first round of competition, and finally defeated defending Champions Duke in back to back games to claim the coveted title as the kings of basketball for 2011, a title which eluded them in 2009 and 2010! The Bequia Basketball Association, led by President Sabrina Mitchell can put the 2011 Annual Championship into the history books, completing thirteen consecutive seasons of competition on the Grenadine island!
The Overall First Division Tournament Most Valuable Player was awarded to 6’ 5” center Jonas King of Duke for his impressive statistics, leading in points (139 in 8 games) and in rebounds (119 in 8 games), but victory eluded Duke in back- to- back Games 2 and 3, losing both match ups by a mere two points. Bequia Tech took Game 2 of the series 59 to 57 forcing a Game 3 on Sunday night. Sunday’s exciting Game 3 had high drama with a tied score with 45 seconds remaining in the game. Bequia Tech won with seconds remaining, by a narrow margin of 56 to 54!! Kirsten Lampkin of Bequia Tech led the scoring for his squad in the series and was declared the most improved player in the First Division from 2010 to 2011, and the Final Series MVP!
Cregg Friday and Craiglee Sam, who are both home on vacation from basketball scholarship at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan, contributed to the victory and both awarded trophies for their individual efforts. Friday, who is also a member of the SVG National Team, was awarded most blocks, while Sam was awarded the Bequia Tech’s most valuable player. The Victorious team is sponsored by Warren Campbell of the Bequia Technology Centre.
The Second Division had the major upset of the competition with third place Young Blazers taking out the undefeated Wizards to secure the Second Division title! The surprise semi final win to secure a spot in the Final Series had the Wizards scrambling, and they never quite recovered their composure. Wizards had a perfect record in the first round of competition, being undefeated in 6 games, but came up short when Coach Franella Quashie and her Young Blazers lived up to their name and blazed the trail, putting up an impressive fight to come out on top. Blazers’ Toryann Tannis was adjudged the Series MVP for his strong effort, while his team mates Mark Browne contributed with the most steals, getting 27 in six games, and Jason Hutchins being adjudged the team’s MVP, with the best team stats. Wizards’ big man center Orlando Blugh took the Overall Division Most Valuable Player, as well as several individual trophies of most points, most rebounds and most blocks for his stellar, but losing effort. Wizards point guard Ashbourne Phillips had the most assists with 20 in 6 games. Xavaghn Dennie, also of the second place Wizards was awarded most improved player! Defending Champions Rising Stars were knocked out in the semi finals, and Young Duke took up the cellar position finishing fourth in that division.
Upsets also dominated the boys and girls division, the Under 16, with Titans taking the 2011 U16 title! The Bequia Basketball Association proudly sponsored the Under 16 Division by providing uniforms, balls, coaches and managers for the kids, who are all involved in a year round developmental program training every Friday and Saturday. Two of the new teams, Titans and Rockets knocked out the favorites Hornets and Young Wizards to go on to the Championship series. Team Titans and Coach Rex Pollard took the title in two games defeating Rockets, 14 to 12 and 27 to 11. The Under 16 Division, which has sixty registered boys and girls in five teams range from ages six to fourteen. Games were played in two halves of ten minutes and the hoops lowered to 8 feet to help in the development of the children. These games were some of the most exciting of the competition, attracting huge crowds of family and well wishers. Six year olds Altino “Simple” Bynoe and Blossom Hazell were awarded outstanding rookie awards for their enthusiasm for the game of basketball. Sydian Warner of the Titans was awarded the Series MVP, as well as Titans MVP, and team mate had the most blocks with 5 in 4 games. Kaicy Peniston of the Hornets was chosen Hornets MVP and the Overall Under 16 Most Valuable Player, while teammate Lennox Ince took the Most rebounds trophy for 29 in 4 games. Jermaine John of Young Wizards had the most points with 26 in four games, and Marshroy Dubin had the most assists, with 4 in four games.
Gold and silver medalists in all divisions were awarded medals presented by Games Secretary Cornelius Farrell and President Sabrina Mitchell. In her closing address, Mitchell thanked the Bequia business community, patrons and fans for their continued partnership and financial support of basketball in Bequia. She urged all to continue to support young people in sports. She thanked the more than sixty volunteers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a successful competition, ranging from executive members, table officials, referees, gate keepers, bartenders, Dj’s, cleaners and vendors. With its big electronic scoreboard, 24 second clocks and tightly run tournament, the Bequia Association leads the way in many aspects, not only of basketball in the national sporting calendar, but sports administration in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, including a high standard of officiating. International FIBA Referee Rene Batson of Barbados joined FIBA colleague, Bequia’s Shem Ollivierre and veteran referee Anthony Primus refereeing a FIBA three- man rotation in the Championship Series. Referee Shem Ollivierre travels to Barbados next month to referee in the Barbados national Competition. Bequia has a total of thirty trained table officials and eight referees.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS:
First Division Second Division Under 16
1st: Bequia Tech Rising Stars Wizards Young Wizards
2nd: East Blazers Rising Stars II Hornets
3rd: Duke Young Blazers Titans
4th: Warriaz Young Duke Rockets
Gold: Bequia Tech Rising Stars Young Blazers Titans
Silver: Duke Wizards Rockets
Please see www.caribbeanbasketball.com for pictures