Playoffs draw near

Women’s basketball is into its final week of regular season play.

Tonight will see the last two games of the regular season at the Cayman Islands Basketball Association Court off Eastern Avenue in George Town.

At 6:15pm Storm Quik Cash face Welly’s Cool Spot and then at 7:45pm the Dominos Lady Heels battle Silver Bullets.

The teams are part of the 2009 CIBA National Women’s League.

The league playoffs are slated to begin next Tuesday 24 February with the top four clubs battling it out in the semi-finals.

From there the finals take place on Sunday 1 March at 6:30pm.

With the top three playoff spots seemingly locked up, attention turns to the bottom of the table where two squads are fighting for a playoff berth.

Coming into tonight’s game the standings showed Storm out in front as the lone undefeated team.

The Lady Heels and Blazettes had identical records though Dominos got the second place nod on a tiebreaker.

Below them are Welly’s and Bullets, who are also tied with identical records. Both squads are well below .500 but with only the top four sides making the playoffs they have everything to play for tonight.

Storm have been in excellent form throughout the season and were no different in their last match against Dominos.

The side beat the Lady heels 47-41 with netball star Lavern Ebanks steadying the side with 15 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

Fellow netballer Sophia Foster contributed a solid double-double performance with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

In tonight’s match-up Storm will try to keep the pace fluid and their energy high throughout the game. In their last match they had a blazing start with 30 points in the first half before collapsing for just 17 points in the whole of the second half.

Though Ebanks and Foster are pacing the team up front, the side would not mind more production from their guards. If either Bobeth O’Garro or Lashawn Davis flash a good shooting stroke and get their point totals into double digits then Welly’s are in trouble.

Meanwhile Welly’s come into the match off another sub-par performance. The side lost to Silver Bullets 37-28 in their last result.

The game was a defensive struggle as points came at a premium for both sides. That was especially the case for Welly’s who failed to have a player score in double-digits.

However Christsania McLean and Sheneka Moore had good games. McLean posted eight points, eight steals and 11 rebounds while Moore had seven points, eight blocks and 14 rebounds.

Welly’s will need a lot of things to fall into place for success tonight. Aside from an overall boost in scoring and better ball control, rebounding and free throw shooting should loom large.

In their last result the side was out-rebounded by a wide margin (51-40) and left many points on the line (shooting 5-17). If players like Letanya Thompson and Amber Watson help out more on the glass while McLean and Moore shoot better from the line then an upset is possible.

With the other game Dominos have been a resurgent team of late. Last year’s champions have come around and look like a deadly playoff side.

Though they lost to Storm in their last result, the positives were plenty. For one thing assistant coach/centre Dionne Anglin and Benecia Thompson had monster games.

Anglin had 14 points, an outstanding 21 rebounds and six blocks. Thompson was not far behind with 12 points and 17 rebounds.

The other positive was dominance on defense and from the foul line. The side had 10 steals and six blocks to go with 8-15 shooting from the charity stripe.

All of those positives will need to resurface for success tonight. The only other thing that would help would be less turnovers (the side had 22, nine from Courtisha Ebanks, in the last result).

Silver Bullets meanwhile are hoping for lucky bounces their way after losing to Esso 61-50 in their last result.

Scimone Campbell had a great night with 24 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Adelaide Francis also did well nabbing 24 rebounds and four assists.

In tonight’s game though, Bullets will need to iron out the kinks. One of which is an over-reliance on Campbell to score. Players like Benecia Mullings and Tishelle Logan need to flash their perimeter game to a greater extent to help with the scoring load.

Tonight’s pair of games comes after two matches were played this Sunday. The action started from 5pm as Welly’s faced Esso while Silver Bullets took on Storm Quik Cash.