Youth basketball in Cayman had an impressive start to its premier competition.
The Cayman Islands Basketball Association staged its opening ceremony for the Dominos Pizza Under-19 Basketball League last Saturday at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Center. Roughly a dozen teams donned new kits and took part in a uniform parade under the watchful eye of association president Joel Jefferson, technical director Victor “Voot” O’Garro and Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden.
Bodden, who took in the league opener featuring his home district of Bodden Town, said the competition is doing well to feature young talents.
“I was encouraged by the number of teams and players registered and on display – close to 100 youngsters,” Bodden said. “The event was nice and it was good to see parents out supporting. Kudos to coaches, sponsors and the association who have struggled to get the various age groups into competition and we are now with a full slate across the age groups. This puts us in good stead for upward transition into better players and developing better young people.”
Bodden gave a brief speech that sought to energize the crowd with the prospect of a new home for local hoops. Unfortunately, the Bodden Town Reapers did not play inspired, as they were beaten by the Esso Blazers, 71-54. The Reapers trailed 27-10 at the end of the first quarter and never recovered under a coaching staff that featured the likes of James Collins.
Dominic Martucci stole the show for the Blazers, coached by Shawn Pitterson, with an impressive 43 points, seven 3-pointers and four rebounds. Oscar Rivers contributed in the paint with 10 points and nine rebounds, while guard Javon Seymour registered eight points and eight rebounds. Bodden Town featured Justin Collins with 13 points and four assists, while Duncan Anderson scored 11 points and Shaquille Heath notched 10 points and nine rebounds.
Defending boys champion Wolves also got off to a bad start, losing to the Wesleyan Christian Academy Griffins, 80-67. Statistics-wise, most Wolves did well, as Eric Evans had 19 points including three 3-pointers and five rebounds, while Joshua Ebanks-Brown posted 17 points and nine rebounds and Rhomar Williams notched 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Wesleyan enjoyed a star performance from Alexander Thompson with 33 points and 11 rebounds, and a double-double effort from Eric Lopez, with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Kameron Reynolds also contributed with 11 points and three rebounds.
On the girls side, Comets beat the Sparks, 64-34. Chloe Powery dazzled for the Comets with 24 points, four 3-pointers and 20 rebounds. Powery had help from Khadijah Lewin (14 points, seven rebounds), Alicia Turner (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Ashley Jacaban (12 points). The Sparks countered with 20 points and nine rebounds from April Ebanks.
Lynx crushed the Monarchs, 54-27. Khailan O’Connor scored 21 points for the Lynx, Hannah Parchment registered 19 points, 11 steals and eight rebounds and Melissa Bridgemohan notched 12 points. For the Monarchs, Rochel Gardener posted 11 points and five rebounds, while teammates Guiesha Smith and Kacie Ramos combined for 12 points and 21 rebounds.
League matches continue on Thursday, Sept. 26, as John Gray High School faces Wesleyan Soldiers at 6 p.m. at the association court off Eastern Avenue.