The ARC braces for double-header

Local basketball fans are in for a treat tonight.

With a pair of indoor matches on tap there should be plenty of Christmas fun on the court.

kerry basketball

Kerry Hunte tried hard for the Panthers.
Photo: Matthew Yates

The Arts and Recreation Centre at Camana Bay hosts all the hoops action from 6:15pm tonight.

Game one on the evening sees the Lynx taking on the Sparks in the finale of the Appleby U19 Girls Basketball League.

Under the guidance of star player Letanya Thompson the Lynx have roared through the 2009 campaign. The side finished 7-2 atop the regular season standings with a stingy defense that allowed the fewest points (285).

Thompson has been the offensive star with 109 points scored on the season. On defense her team-mates have stepped up with Amber Watson in the top five in blocks (with five) while Annique Holness (22), Lexie Solomon and Sabrina Seymour (both with 19) are in the top ten in steals.

Of the two the Lynx are the more well-rested side after making into the finals last week via a forfeit by the 2-7 Comets (who ended up in the league cellar).

That rest though might turn into rust on the court and prevent the Lynx from keeping pace with a determined Sparks team.

Last week the side booked its spot in the final in gutsy fashion by taking down the defending champion Monarchs 54-52.

Latorae Nixon (14 points, five rebounds) and Courtisha Ebanks (22 points, four rebounds) added to their legacy in local hoops with stellar showings.

After the girls final comes the title game for the U19 Appleby Boys league. Undefeated juggernauts the Shockwaves of Beach Suites look to win the 2009 league outright against Duran ‘Trini’ Whittaker and the Wolves at 7:15pm

Trini coached the Wolves men’s team to the national title this year and hopes to add a youth trophy to his collection.

Both teams were first and second respectively in the regular season. Beach Suites were 10-0 while the Wolves were 8-2.

The squads also had an unexpectedly tough road to the finals. In last Wednesday’s first round encounters both won by less than five points.

The Shockwaves just got by the John Gray Panthers as star player Brandon Glasgow was neutralized by the Panthers defense. Glasgow got plenty of help from Patrick Barnes, who stepped up with 22 points including four treys.

Big man Jermaine Taylor was a force for the Panthers with some seven blocks on the night as he intimidated most Shockwave drives to the hole.

John Gray deserves extra props as they fielded only five players on the night (Mario Gray, Kerry Hunte, Justin Wight, Nicholas Powell and Jermaine Taylor).

The Wolves meanwhile scraped by the Playmakers by just two points. Early on the Playmakers would push the ball and nab many fast-break points.

Down by 10 points late in the second half the Wolves clawed their way back by forcing turnovers, being physical and out-hustling their opponents.

Raheim Robinson had 17 points, including the Wolves’ final four points, and Tikko Moore had 16 points and nine rebounds.

An awards ceremony honouring the best players and teams will follow tonight’s games.

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