In sports the playoffs are a time for star players to shine.
With all their exploits in the regular season the stage was set for Courtisha Ebanks and Latorae Nixon and the girls put on a great show on Sunday.
The duo carried the Sparks to a tense 54-52 victory over the Monarchs in the opening round of the 2009 Appleby U19 Girls basketball league playoffs.
Ebanks showed great footwork, fancy dribbling and a deft shooting touch as she filled up the nets with 22 points in the Arts and Recreation Center at Camana Bay.
From there her relentless hustle would translate into four rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Nixon, armed with her phenomenal leaping ability and fearless drives to the basket, chipped in with 14 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Thanks to their efforts the Sparks overcame a number of Monarch runs. In fact the Sparks were down by two going into half-time before Ebanks and Nixon led the way in the second half.
Helping to give the Sparks the edge was Abigail Stoddard with her 12 points and six rebounds.
Interestingly the final score was quite indicative of this year’s Sparks considering they scored the most points (367) while allowing the most points (354) amongst the girls.
The Sparks, who finished second in their division at 5-4, now go on to face the Lynx in the finals next Monday.
The Lynx, who won the regular season title with a 7-2 record, secured their place in the finals after beating the 2-7 Comets early Sunday via forfeit.
With the loss the Monarchs will not repeat as girls champions after last year’s success.
The team came up just short in spite of a number of outstanding performances in Sunday’s game.
Christsania McLean led the charge with another solid double-double outing with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Chloe Powery had a good game in support with 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Backing up both girls would be Christina McLean, Christsania’s sister, who made a great contribution on Sunday with 10 points and six assists.
The trio were not enough to extend a surprisingly mediocre season in which the Monarchs finished third in the division at 4-5 and allowed the second-most points in the division with 335.