Latorae Nixon and Courtisha Ebanks are clearly the two superstars of female youth basketball. However one of their unheralded team-mates might be the key to another of their championship runs.
Tisha Murillo is the starting point guard for the Sparks. The Appleby Under-19 Basketball League player has seen her girls club march into the playoffs with the number one seed and a dazzling 8-1 record.
Statistically there is nothing to suggest her impact.
Murillo averaged just 3.7 points and four rebounds on the season, was a 50 percent free throw shooter and didn’t make a three-pointer. However seeing her play reveals she is part of the glue that keeps the side together and churning when Nixon and Ebanks are taxed.
In fact Murillo’s biggest contribution will not need to be with scoring or passing, but with ball handling. It’s no secret that the offence runs through Nixon and Ebanks. When they get double-teamed Murillo will need to be sharp and keep possession. She has a decent dribble and can draw defenders driving to the lane but she has to be careful not to add to her 22 turnovers.
The boys segment of the U19 competition came to a close last Sunday. The Shockwaves of JML International Ltd and the Wolves squared off for the championship for the second straight year. The sides booked their spots after tense semi-final matches. Jordan Cacho and the Shockwaves edged budding rivals Jarrett Terry and Future Sports Club by 10 points last Wednesday.
Raheim Robinson and the Wolves meanwhile avenged their lone loss of the season to Jamaal Miller and the Reapers by beating the Bodden Town side by over 25 points.
The last match of the U19 league is this Sunday 23 January. The Arts and Recreation Centre hosts the girls final at 4pm.