Tarpon gather for repeat as Flames ignite

January will see a pair of local basketball competitions tip off.

The Cayman Islands Basketball Association will be staging its 14 and Under Inter-school and Women’s Basketball Leagues. The U14 tournament is up first, starting on 14 January with the women up next from 24 January.

Both competitions saw games at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre and at the Sir Vassel Johnson Hall at the University College of the Cayman Islands.

The U14 competition targets children in the middle school ranks and is aimed at fostering raw talent.

It is in its second year, after starting in 2012 with the gracious support of KPMG. John Gray High School produced the top boys teams as Tarpon Academy, one of 12 squads, beat out Wahoo Academy in the final.

Arin Taylor was the Finals Most Valuable Player for Tarpon, with help from schoolmates Cameron Hydes and Akeem Burton. Wahoo featured Christopher Lopez, Bryce Thompson and Collin Barrett.

On the girls side, Wahoo would claim the title by defeating the Clifton Hunter High School Diamonds. Guiesha Smith was the Finals Most Valuable Player for Wahoo with help from Amanda Stone.

Yolanni Manzanares and Lacee Barnes were the stars for the Diamonds.

All eyes will be on the Home Gas Flames in 2013, as the team has won two straight women’s championships. La-Torae Nixon has been the main player on the team and in the league, with Sade Wood being her chief sidekick. In 2012, the Flames swept aside the Dominos Lady Heels in the finals even though Dominos had stellar efforts from Dionne Anglin and Sarah Kidd.

The women’s event has been going on for years and is a key tournament in the basketball association’s mission to develop female talent in the sport.

For more information on the tournaments, e-mail 
[email protected]