Island Heritage burn Home Gas in opener

Women’s basketball in Cayman seems destined for a new powerhouse. 

Island Heritage Silver Mist crushed the two-time reigning national champion Home Gas Flames, 49-18, at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. The match was part of opening night for the Cayman Islands Basketball Association 2013 National Women’s League. 

Team captain Scimone Campbell said the win is huge and was a result of defence. 

“We’ve been working and we couldn’t wait to show up and play,” Campbell said. “We worked on our defensive stance and that went well against this team. The box and one in particular was very good, as we denied inside players the ball. 

“The team has a lot of new players,” she added. “Some on Thursday played for the first time and some have not played in awhile. We started out doing team functions to gel and get the team chemistry going. 

“Right now we’re so hyped up and we want to keep on and continue a positive win streak. We can all get going at the right time and practice hard to win the championship.” 

Up to press time, the basketball association had not published statistics for Thursday’s games. However, Campbell had a phenomenal showing with numerous fast-break points and steals.  

Her supporting cast, which could only muster a last-place finish in 2012, featured newcomer Rebecca Lucas along with veterans such as Carrie Barnett. All were guided by head coach Daniel Augustine and assistant coach Chris Lucas. 

Home Gas looked like a shell of its former self under head coach Bruce Reynolds and assistant Wendy Manzanares. Without superstar La-Torae Nixon and sidekick Sade Wood, the Flames struggled on offence. Lauri Webster made a return after a long layoff and Gemma Graelis was among last year’s holdovers. However, neither made a huge impact. 

In the other opening contest, the Wolves clipped Welly’s Cool Spot, 66-62. A tight game throughout, the Wolves pulled away in the waning moments with scores from veteran Benieca Thompson and defensive stops by team captain Cassianne Lawrence. 

Lawrence said the victory is about atoning for lackluster efforts in past campaigns. 

“We feel pretty happy we won, the past two seasons we had bad experiences,” Lawrence said. “But we played our game on Thursday and played Wolves basketball. With the help of everyone on the team, we got it done. 

“I feel amazing about us as a team,” she said. “We had a few players missing on Thursday, but I feel we’ll develop and get far this season. You’ll see great stuff from us this year.” 

Wolves brought back many familiar faces from last season such as Latoya Cover and Theresa Hamil. Meanwhile, Sarah Kidd was a major addition to the roster. All were led by head coach Brandon Myles and assistant Duran “Trini” Whittaker. 

On the other hand, Welly’s had loads of rookies under head coach Redver Ebanks and assistant Billy Fenton. Established stars Chloe Powery and April Ebanks carried the load offensively with contributions from youngsters like Guiesha Smith. 

League action continues on Thursday, 28 February, at Camana Bay. At 6.15pm, Island Heritage faces Welly’s. The Dominos Lady Heels make their season debut against the Wolves at 7.45pm. 

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