Butlers’ slick service

In big games star players have to play well.

Whether they steady the offense or lead the defensive charge they can carry a team in clutch situations.

Last Saturday that idea became a reality in the Knockout final of the Cayman Islands Netball Association Senior Women’s League.

In front of a substantial crowd at the netball courts at Truman Bodden the Butler Properties All Stars rolled to a 40-18 win over Rising Stars B.

Leading the way for the Butlers All Stars was ageless wonder Pauline Bodden. Her silky smooth shooting touch powered the offense and put Butlers All Stars ahead early. In addition her footwork allowed her to make tough shots and get in good positions past her defenders.

Butlers All Stars starting center Lyneth Monteith felt Bodden was crucial.

‘As always Mrs. Pauline came up big for us with her usual consistent shooting.’

Bodden’s shooting was so profound even the opposition gave her props.

‘Mrs. Pauline is a very consistent player who had a very good shooting night,’ said Rising Stars B player coach Tricia Skyers-Palacio. ‘Whonda Fuad also shot well for them.’

Fuad, who usually plays the role of a defensive stopper for Butlers All Stars, had a big game as well. Her shooting in the second half sealed the win.

Monteith talked about Faud’s contribution on the night.

‘Wanda is typically a defensive player who we put up front in the second half. She went up and shot well for us. Center Kristen Watler-Miller had a big part to play in getting her the ball from mid-court.’

On the other hand a number of Rising Stars players did well. Among them were frontline players Wendy Fisher, Marcia Moiten and Nardia Ricketts who played hard nearly the whole game.

Overall Monteith felt the game came down to the cohesion typical of All Stars teams.

‘All Stars went into the game as favourites as the squad is one of the top clubs on the island. Rising Stars gave a commendable effort however the strength of our team in all areas was the deciding factor. We had great teamwork between shooting, attacking and defending the ball.’

Skyers-Palacio of Rising Stars agreed.

‘The game was played well. All Stars was the more consistent team on the court and in their shooting which shows in their final score. Rising Stars was positive and kept their composure on the court and had moments of brilliance in all quarters, but unfortunately it was not enough to bring the title home.’

With the last game of the women’s league in the books, both ladies reflected on the season for their respective clubs.

In spite of winning the KO title and placing second in the open league Monteith felt the season could have been better.

‘The team did not perform as expected in the open league however that is the nature of the games where the team that makes fewer mistakes will always win.’

Skyers-Palacio, who saw her Rising Stars netball club finish in the middle of the pack during the open league, had a more positive outlook on the season.

‘Rising Stars, as a club, had a good season. As development is a primary focus for our team, we formed a ‘B’ squad which has a mixture of ages and abilities. Trying to balance the teams proved to be tricky as our ‘A’ team played most games this season with many injuries and without ample players or substitutions.

‘However, the ‘B’ team making it to the finals and placing second in division two allowed us to see our development plan being implemented. We are very proud of the players on both teams who put out 100 percent effort this season.

‘We are also especially pleased that three of our young ladies were chosen to represent the Cayman Islands in the recent Under 16 tournament in Jamaica. These girls are Lexie Solomon, Renee Lindo (Under 16 team captain), and Rose Marie Wilson (tournament MVP).’

In addition both clubs are going in different directions in the coming weeks.

‘We will continue training throughout the off-season at a reduced timeframe,’ Monteith said. ‘We are also looking to the co-ed league in August and an overseas tour in October.’