A height disadvantage is being blamed for Cayman’s futility in Nassau.
Errol Grey, the head coach of John Gray High School’s boys Under-19 team, states Bahamian opposition had more physical tools in their favour.
“Against the Rattlers, the age gap, speed, size , height and technical ability was just too much for the John Gray boys,” Grey said. “The team did not play Donald W. Davis Junior High School as arranged and the game against Stingrays followed the same pattern as the first game.
“Tall players, blocked shots and steals by the opposing team had the John Gray boys constantly changing strategy. What was frustrating was the fact that the Bahamas team brought 16-20 players to the bench for every game with Cayman only having eight. That meant that team captain Arin Taylor, who was also the point guard, was not able to rest.
“This gave the home team quite an advantage. The Bahamas boys are at least three levels higher than John Gray.”
The Cayman team competed in exhibition games this month with the backing of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association. John Gray would suffer defeats at the hands of Charles Irvin Gibson Senior High School Rattlers, 74-13, in game one; private school St. Vincent Stingrays, 36-9, in game two; and Aquinas College, 45-34, in the finale.
Aside from Taylor, the John Gray team consisted of Rueben Barnes, Joshua Ebanks-Brown, Daviel Foster, Douglas Henkis, Cameron Hydes, Alexander Thompson and Jamel Winton. National men’s coach Daniel Augustine helped train the squad.
Grey states the boys did well to not give up at the end.
“Rueben started off the scoring for Cayman by shooting a three pointer and perseverance, heart and teamwork was the general order of the games for the John Gray boys.
“The Cayman boys continued to motivate each other and vowed that no matter the results, they were fighting to the end. Against Aquinas, there was more momentum and hustle for the ball, better shooting and moral was higher as that team was equal in size to the Cayman team.
“Overall, the top scorers were Arin, Joshua and Jamel. The best defensive player, with the most blocks, was Daviel while Arin had the most steals.”