The Appleby U19 Basketball League is its final stages and players are rising to the occasion.
This week two names that stand out are two-way stars Courtisha Ebanks and Jermaine Taylor.
Ebanks plays for the second-ranked Sparks in the girls’ league and recently produced more stellar performances.
Against arch rivals the Comets Ebanks had nine points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in a 48-40 Sparks win.
Last Sunday against the defending champion Monarchs Ebanks had eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in a losing effort as the Sparks lost a critical game 53-39.
Nevertheless Ebanks continues to be an exceptional talent in the league as she leads the league in rebounds and steals and is one of only two players that average double figures in two statistical categories.
With her background in local football it’s no surprise in a sense that she displays great quickness and footwork on the court.
Meanwhile Taylor is an intimidating presence for the up-and-coming John Gray Panthers.
The young man stands six feet six inches tall and isn’t bashful about making his wiry, lanky presence felt on both ends.
Taylor has proven to be the most intimidating defensive force in the league thus far, averaging more than five blocks per game.
His long reach and great positioning make him a concern to any player driving to the basket.
Stats-wise he has two great showings of late. Against the Beach Suites Shockwaves, Taylor finished with 16 points, four blocks, five steals and 20 rebounds in a performance that would get any coach’s attention. Last Saturday against the Wolves Taylor had 10 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in another losing effort as the Panthers tasted defeat 35-34.
The final regular season games for the girls are this Sunday from 3-5pm with the boys finishing up next Sunday 5-8pm.