Redver building for the future

Welly’s Cool Spot had a noteworthy journey in women’s basketball this season.

After starting the year atop the standings, the side barely earned a playoff spot in the Cayman Islands Basketball 2012 national women’s league. There they would lose a best-of-three series in three games to the defending champion Home Gas Flames.

Welly’s head coach Redver Ebanks states he is proud of his squad’s efforts.

“We competed at a high level and there was a lot of improvement,” Ebanks said. “The girls hit big shots when needed and played good defence when needed. They know I’m extremely proud of them as all of the hard work paid off in the end.”

Welly’s have been in the competition a couple of years and never went into the postseason with legitimate title hopes. This season, sentiments were different after an unbeaten initial run. The side would hit a tough stretch, finishing third at 3-4 and playing the 4-3 Flames, who ended up second.

Game one saw the Flames winning 70-60 while Welly’s claimed game two 69-66 at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. Home Gas won a decisive game three 78-62 as La-Torae Nixon had a monster 48 points, 17 rebounds and four steals while Sade Wood posted 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Chloe Powery was top scorer for Welly’s with 20 points, eight rebounds while April Ebanks added 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Welly’s is essentially a youth team, formerly known as the Women of Valour, that centres on player development. Indeed, role players like Schamarrah McCarthy (averaging 9.1 and 11.4 rebounds per game), Chantelle Day (3.0ppg, 8.6rpg) and Rochel Gardener (6.8ppg) did improve this season. However, Ebanks feels 2012 was too drastic of a departure from the squad’s usual focus.

“One of the things we decided to focus on this year was winning. Before we just wanted to compete. Our main focus this season, with the veteran players we had, was winning rather than development. We will probably focus back on development next season with a younger group of players.

“At this point, I’d like to thank Welly’s and DRG Construction for coming on board and helping the team out with the funds to pay for things like uniforms and the registration fee.”

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