Wolves complete U19 three-peat

The Wolves are maintaining their stranglehold on youth basketball.

The black and green pack claimed its third straight championship in the boys division of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association Under-19 Basketball League. The Wolves would defeat Wesleyan Christian Academy 90-73 this month at the association court.

For Wolves head coach Duran ‘Trinni’ Whittaker, the feat is a real accomplishment.

“I just became a dad a few days ago and the three-peat feels great,” Whittaker said. “We worked hard all season. The defence proved tough in the final. We wanted to go in sticking with the game plan and we did not stray from the game plan.

“Wesleyan did a great job of getting this far by beating Bodden Town in the semi-final. Personally, it was not a big goal because I got challenges other than basketball now. I just want to keep it as family oriented as possible.”

Wesleyan, behind head coach Jonathan Powery and assistant coach Shane Ebanks, were within striking distance for most of the final. It was only in the fourth quarter did the lead turn insurmountable. By and large, Arin Taylor and Naithique Jackson kept the West Bayers in the game.

It was an inspired effort from Wesleyan, who had a solid regular season campaign at 4-4. Top scorers Jackson (13.3 points per game) and Tim Corbett (12.6ppg) would lead an upset over 6-2 Bodden Town in the semis, with Corbett producing late-game heroics.

Against the Wolves, Wesleyan would fall short against an experienced squad featuring regular season and Finals Most Valuable Player Peter Grant, the talented David Powery and sharpshooter Reuben Barnes.

Grant, who just turned 18 this month, states Wesleyan were worthy opponents.

“I feel awesome to have done the three-peat,” Grant said. “Wesleyan gave me a challenge, it was kind of rough in the early going. I’m happy with a good season. I hope we stay on top and do our best next season.”

The victory caps off an amazing season for the George Town native, who guided his team to an unbeaten 8-0 mark and the regular season crown while leading the league in scoring (24.1ppg), passing (5.9apg) and free throw shooting (66.7 per cent).

In the girls division final, the Comets defeated the Lynx 52-48. It would be a mild upset as a 5-4 squad took down the 6-3 regular season winners. A close contest throughout, the game would come down to costly turnovers by head coach Denton Cole’s Lynx and timely passing by Eckerd McField’s Comets.

It was also a clash of two stars, as Chloe Powery led her Comets against double-double threat April Ebanks (16.0ppg and a league-best 20.4rpg). Powery, 15, went into the contest as a Most Valuable Player favourite after she led the league in scoring (28.7ppg), assists (averaging 4.2 dishes per match) and steals (39).

Powery, who turns 16 in February, states a team effort sealed the victory.

“I just feel like we deserved to win,” Powery said. “The team came together and won as a team.

“This is not my first championship, I’ve won a couple of titles in the past. But I feel like this team achieved so much by winning the final.”

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