Sparks flew as hoops wrap up

Like the other focus sports in
Cayman basketball has no shortage of young talents. Saturday’s youth league
finals proved that point.

The Arts and Recreation Centre at
Camana Bay showcased the finals for the PriceWaterhouseCoopers U16 League. The
Boys and Girls divisions would see four teams battle for glory. Ultimately the
Sparks and Team Bodden Town would emerge champions.

A familiar name in local youth
basketball, the colourful Sparks claimed its first youth title with a 66-54 win
over the Monarchs. Leading the side was MVP Latorae Nixon with 25 points, 15
rebounds, four assists and two steals. Young sports star Courtisha Ebanks had 17
points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

Meanwhile the Monarchs were
steadied by veteran youth players Christina McLean and Chloe Powery. McLean
posted 16 points, nine rebounds and nine steals while Powery had 16 points, 10
rebounds and four steals.

The game would be decided in the
third quarter as the Sparks grabbed a 17-11 edge and headed into the fourth
quarter ahead by 12 points. It was a very tense final quarter though as the
teams levelled at 17 points. Arguably that period would be a good preview of
the tense late-quarter action that waited in the Boys final.

A last-second drive to the basket
by forward Jamaal Miller secured Bodden Town’s first youth basketball
championship. In its first season competing in youth basketball, the team beat
a determined Knights side 49-47. Miller nabbed Finals MVP for his heroics and a
stellar performance that saw him lead all scorers with 24 points, nine rebounds
and six steals.

Miller’s team-mate Alfredo Cardosa
had 12 points, five rebounds and two assists. Special mention goes to Travis
Barnes and Christopher James who combined for 26 rebounds and 10 points.

The Knights meanwhile were led
mightily by Larue Nixon, Latorae’s brother. His 23 points, 10 rebounds and six
steals were a big reason why the Knights rallied from a 12-point deficit
heading into the final quarter. In spite of fouling out in that final period
Brandon Thompson gave Nixon good support with 14 points, 13 rebounds and
six steals.

He may not have done much
statistically (four points, three rebounds) but props goes to Avondre Nixon for
his hustle, especially to loose balls.