The Lynx are currently one of the jewels of youth basketball.
The squad tops the girls division of the Dominos Pizza Under-19 Basketball League, going unbeaten through the first five games. Yet, the side might face late-season difficulties with the departure of Hannah Parchment, 16, to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Interestingly, Parchment is at the school alongside another Caymanian talent, La-Torae Nixon, also 16.
Redver Ebanks is Cayman’s former national women’s coach. In a recent interview for the Cayman Islands Basketball Association, which organizes the competition, Ebanks said the pressure is on other girls to step up.
“Hannah has departed to go to school in the U.S. and I think that will be a difference maker in terms of how the Lynx perform for the rest of the season,” Ebanks said. “Khailan O’Connor is leading the league in scoring, which is great for a 14 year-old in an Under-19 league. The only problem now is who is going to fill the void of distributing the ball as Hannah led the league in assists. To make up for that, someone will have to step up.
“I know they don’t have a problem in defense with the likes of Amanda Stone, Gina Bush and Jade Wheeler, who can shut down teams and their scoring abilities.”
The Lynx are coming off a 78-45 victory over the Comets this month at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Center. O’Connor led the winners with 31 points, six rebounds and six steals. Parchment notched 19 points and nine rebounds with Melissa Bridgemohan adding 16 points and five rebounds. Chloe Powery produced 32 points with three 3-pointers and 14 rebounds for the Comets and Khadijah Lewin registered 10 points and eight rebounds.
O’Connor and the Lynx are in action this Saturday, Nov. 2, at Camana Bay goes against the Monarchs at 6 p.m. The Monarchs lost their first five games this season. Saturday’s other contest pits the Sparks against the Comets at 4:45 p.m. The second-ranked Sparks recently beat the Monarchs, 76-72. April Ebanks dominated for the winners with 29 points and 20 rebounds.
Alyssa Connor added 17 points and six rebounds for the Sparks, Josie Watson chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds and Alessandra Hawkins contributed 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Monarchs countered with 21 points and 23 rebounds from Guiesha Smith, 17 points from Rochel Gardener, 14 points and 10 rebounds from Kayla Mitchell and 14 points from Kacie Ramos.
The boys division also plays on Saturday as the Wolves face John Gray High School at 3:30 p.m., and Wesleyan Soldiers battle Bodden Town Reapers at 7:15 p.m. The Soldiers, behind Arin Taylor, are the top team after going unbeaten in their first six games.