Digicel Demons give others hell

Halfway through the 2010 Cayman Islands
Basketball Association division two men’s league the Digicel Demons are in a
familiar position.

Digicel sit atop the standings as
the lone unbeaten team. The Demons nabbed their fourth straight win last Wednesday
against the Grand Pavilion Shockwaves 97-71.

A big reason why the team won was
due to the play of Stewart Connelly. The big Aussie forward had 18 points
(including two treys), two rebounds and two steals.

Connelly, 33, hails from Melbourne and has been on
the team the last four seasons. In that time he has seen the club become a
force in local hoops.

In 2008 the side finished second in
the league to team Colombia and last season the side won the league ahead of
Esso Blazers B (and elected to decline a promotion to division one).

For Connelly, who serves as the
Director of Charterland chartered surveyors during the day, this season has
been about team bonding and playing well indoors.

“We have had a good start to the
year, especially with the contributions from the new guys on the team. We have
been challenged by all our opponents thus far. However, we seem to have hit our
stride earlier than they have and I am sure the rest of the season we will see
plenty of tight close games.

“Our team is bonding well
offensively but the defensive end is where we are generating that offense.
Being an older team, with many chronic injuries and with less athletic ability,
we have definitely benefited from the move indoors, especially our perimeter
game.

“We have always enjoyed the social
aspect of the league and we have a good rapport with the other teams. Seeing
many young local players develop, we knew that the competition was going to be
much stronger this year, as the Derek Bogle Insurance Warriors proved to us during
the short indoor season just completed. Therefore we were all excited about defending
our last league (outdoor) title.”

Another big contributor to the team
has been guard Gavin McMaster. Like Connelly he hails from Melbourne, Australia
and has been on the team the last four years.

McMaster is 28 years-old and spends
his days at Harmonic Fund Services. In his eyes new guys, especially former U19
league player Javier Howell, have made all the difference.

“The new players on the team this
year are Jeremy Stickland, Jonathan Rosa, Scott Rainsford, Rhys Ebanks and
Javier Howell,” McMaster said. “Javier is a great young talent and we’ve been
really lucky to have him join the team.

“He has provided lots of energy and
plays his heart out each night.  He is averaging 12.5 points and four
steals per game and continued playing against the Shockwaves on Wednesday despite
opening up a large gash on his chin. 

“He moves really quickly on defense
and just seems to have a knack for stealing the ball off the opposition. 
He has a great future ahead of him.”

Another established player on the
Digicel team is Mike Diamond. A manager at Deloitte and Touche who hails from
the South Side of Chicago, Diamond has been an unheralded point guard the last
thee seasons.

Diamond, 27, says in spite of the
score in the last match the Shockwaves are a challenge going forward.

“Shockwaves are a great team. I
think they will, along with the rest of the teams, improve as the season goes
on and we will have to be ready for that.

“The Shockwaves had a kid that
dunked on us the other night. I was just glad that he did not dunk over me. I
would say that the biggest threats to our team are injuries and Rashad (Powery-Saunds
of Future Sports Club).”

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