The Cayman Islands national girls Under-15 basketball team are the best in the Caribbean.
Cayman would place in the top five at the CentroBasket Championships in Mexico City. In the process, the side would emerge as the top squad among Caribbean nations.
Technical Director for Cayman Basketball Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro served as team head coach and spoke about the results.
“The good news about our success in the CentroBasket tournament in Mexico is that our girls placed fifth,” O’Garro said. “That leaves us as the leading Caribbean country in the CentroBasket tournament.
“After losing our opening game against South American champions Puerto Rico 74-29, Cayman faced another powerhouse in the region in Guatemala, losing in the last three minutes by a score of 57-50. Hannah Parchment led with a game-high 21 points and La-Torae Nixon supported with 19 points. A win in that game would have placed us in a position to qualify for the semi-finals. However, Cayman were left with Caribbean powerhouse Barbados in their zone.
“Our girls, after being thoroughly briefed by their head coach and staff, recognized that this was an opportunity. They turned up the heat on Barbados, crushing them 63-33 with their full court pressure defence supported by their lethal offence. Hannah Parchment had a game-high 20 points, La-Torae Nixon had 18 points and Chloe Powery with 14 points were the leading scorers.
“Cayman then played the best game that they have ever played and blew out the Bahamas 81-50 for fifth place overall and history by being the top U15 team in the Caribbean.”
A top four finish would have propelled Cayman to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) America Championships, which leads up to the FIBA World Championships and the Olympics. CentroBasket was a FIBA tournament featuring Central American and Caribbean countries in the Central American and Caribbean Confederation.
Cayman made its inaugural appearance in the competition with 12 girls. They were Melissa Bridgemohan, Alyssa Connor, Rochel Gardener, Alessandra Hawkins, Khadijah Lewin, Yolanni Manzanares, La-Torae Nixon (vice-captain), Khailan O’Connor, Hannah Parchment (captain), Chloe Powery, Amanda Stone and Jade Wheeler.
Parchment, Nixon and Powery were expected to be the stars. It should also be noted that Nixon and Powery were part of the national U17 girls team, under head coach Redver Ebanks and assistant coach Billy Fenton, that competed at the 2011 CentroBasket tournament in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Nixon, 14, was ninth overall in scoring but Cayman lost all three of its matches.