In a surprising final result, defending Champions Duke came back from being one game down to beat the favourite East Blazers and take the crown of First Division Champions in the 17th Annual Vita Malt Bequia Tournament, which concluded last night, August 30th at the Clive Tannis Hard Court in Bequia.
Veteran Ishama McKree playing his fifth year with Duke, was adjudged MVP of the Final best of 3 series, leading the scoring in the final and deciding game with 36 points.
East Blazers were unbeaten in eight games in the first round of the competition which began on July 11th, and favoured to win, but the team fell sort of victory by 10 points in Game 3 of the Final series.
The half time score in game 3 was close with East Blazers heading in to the 3rd quarter up by 3 points, but McKree took matters in to his own hands and took his team to victory!
East Blazers MVP Steveon Taylor fought hard, but the team did not have the same intensity present in the first round of competition.
Taylor was however, adjudged the Most Valuable Player in the competition overall with an outstanding record of performance, and impressive overall statistics of 171 points, 66 rebounds, 30 assists, 26 steals and 3 blocks in eight games played.
He also got the most points award. Team mate Denroy Hutchins secured the most blocks trophy with 30 in 8 games. Other awards went to Wizards with Kamol Hutchins achieving the most rebounds (110) and Xavaughn Dennie the most steals (36).
In the Second Division, Defending Champions Blazing Heats, down by 1-0 after Game 1, came back to win Game 2, but failed to pull off the final prize, losing Game 3 of the series on Sunday night in a disappointing effort.
Rising Stars young star Cody Compton, who was awarded Team MVP as well as the Finals MVP, scored 25 points to secure the win the Championships.
Despite Second Place position, Blazing Heats captured all seven of the individual awards presented for outstanding achievements: Fifteen year old Nicholas Lewis was chosen the Second Division Overall MVP with 114 points, 39 rebounds, 48 assists, 49 steals and 6 blocks in six games of competition!
Lewis also was adjudged the most improved player, and received the most assists and most steals awards. His team mate Vernell Phillips secured the most points, most rebounds and most blocks, with 124, 95 and 7 respectively.
The future of basketball is safe in Bequia with the Under 16 Division, now in its tenth year. In the children’s division (U 16) Team Titans and Coach Vernell Phillips secured the Championship defeating Hawks two games to one.
Hawks, (mostly female team) won game one, but Titans came back strong to win both game 2 and game 3 for the U16 Championship! Jovani Derrick of Dragons was adjudged the First round Most Valuable Player with 172 points, 98 rebounds, 21 assists, 59 steals and 27 block in 10 games, showing great potential.
In the Final series, Kelroy Durham of Titans was awarded the MVP! In the individual achievement awards, Jovani Derrick of Dragons had the most points and most blocks with 172 and 27 respectively in ten games played.
Dimitri Peniston, also of Dragons had the most assists with 51 in ten games.
Hawks Daren John was adjudged the most improved player in 2015, and was also awarded most steals with 60.
The U16 Division is a feeder system for the other divisions, and is sponsored by the Bequia Basketball Association to develop young talent.
The Association provides the uniforms for the children and the registration fee is waived giving the kids a real incentive to play.
The children in this division, both boys and girls range from age 5 to 15. Upon reaching age 16, they migrate to the Second Division, thereby ensuring the continuity and sustainability of the game in Bequia.
The Presentation of Trophies and gold and silver medals took place following the games.
President of the BBA, Sabrina Mitchell, also Sports Ambassador of SVG and Secretary General of Caribbean Basketball thanked the sponsors Vita Malt and the St. Vincent Brewery, as well as Courts SVG ltd, and Frangipani Hotel for their commitment to the youth.
She expressed her gratitude to all the business places who give contributions as well. She went on to thank aver 50 volunteers who work behind the scenes doing the administration of the games and collecting the statistics for the competition, which are used to determine the final awards.
She gave special thanks to the fans who love basketball in Bequia and who have made seventeen years possible with their support.
Three point Shootout competition: Elton Joseph of Blazers
Dunk Out Competition: Akeem King
Weekend Game Results:
Saturday Aug 29th:
SECOND DIVISION FINALS: GAME 2:
Blazing Heats defeated Rising Stars 44 to 37 to tie the Final Series 1-1.
-leading scorer Blazing Heats: Nicholas Lewis with 14 pts, 13 reb, and 4 assts
-leading scorer Rising Stars: Jadley Bynoe with 10 pts, 5 reb and 2 assts.
FIRST DIVISION FINALS: GAME 2:
Duke defeat East Blazers by 2 points: 71 to 69 to tie the FInal series 1-1
-leading scorer Duke: Ishama McKree with 21 pts, 2assts and 1 steal
-leading scorer East Blazers: Elton Joseph with 25 pts, 11 reb and 5 steals
Sunday August 30th:
SECOND DIVISION GAME 3:
Rising Stars defeat Blazing Heats 72 to 63 to win the Fianls series 2 games to 1 and the Championship Trophy.
-leading scorer Rising Stars: Cody Compton with 25 points, 4 reb, 1 asst, 1 blk
-leading scorer Blazing Heats: Nicholas Lewis with 17 pts, 10 reb, 8 assists, 15 steals. 2 blks
FIRST DIVISION GAME 3:
Duke defeat East Blazers 78 to 68 to win the Final series 2-1 and the Championship trophy
-leading scorer Duke: Ishama McKree with 36 pts, 4 reb, 2 assts and 2 steals
-leading scorer Blazers: Steveon Taylor with 29 points, 10 reb, 5 assists, 8 steals