DUKE wins 2009 First Division Basketball Championship
The Eleventh Annual Bequia Basketball Tournament came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday August 30th at the Clive Tannis Hard Court in Bequia. First Division’s DUKE defeated defending champions BequiaTech Rising Stars 72 to 57 in an exciting game three of the Final Best of 3 Series to capture the First Division 2009 Championship title, and a beautiful gold ball trophy. Craiglee Sam of the Stars, who was adjudged the overall Division Most Valuable Player, as well and his team MVP, netted 18 points, but his team, who were leading for three quarters, came up short in the last 5 minutes of the game!
The score at half time was 27 to 24 in favour of the Stars. Craiglee was also awarded trophies for the most points, most rebounds and most blocks in that division with 138, 67 and 9 respectively. Otice Lewis of Duke captured the series MVP trophy, netting most points in the concluding game 3 with 24, while his teammate Jonas King was awarded the Duke MVP for his contribution to the winning team. BequiaTech Rising Stars narrowly defeated Duke 74 to 72 in a tense match up the night before in game two of the series to force a game three and hold on, but the Championship still eluded them in the end.
In the Second Division, Young Blazers, coached by Cornelius Farrell defeated Young Duke in two games to win that division’s 2009 title, while Young Wizards, coached by Keylon Edwards defeated Hornets in the Under 16 Division to emerge as 2009 Champs! In the Second Division, Damien Lewis of Young Duke was awarded five trophies for his impressive statistics throughout the tournament, with the most points, most rebounds and most blocks in six first round games: 126, 93, 19 respectively. Equally impressive was young Garfield Sargeant of second place team Hornets was adjudged most valuable player for the youth, capturing the Under 16 MVP overall award for the second consecutive year. He was also awarded the Hornets MVP and most points, and most rebounds with 54 and 48 respectively. Winning team’s Young Wizards’ Orando Blugh received two trophies for his efforts in the final Under 16 best of three series as mvp, as well as the award for the Young Wizards mvp. Other awards in the young division went to his teammates Jimmy France for the most steals (19), and Mark Dublin for the most assists (5). Damien Stowe collected two awards for team Eagles with most blocks and his own team mvp. In Division 2, team Warriaz, who finished in last place in the standings, collected three trophies all going to Clem Williams for the most steals (28) and most assists (18) as well as the Warriaz MVP. Mark Hutchins of Young Blazers was awarded his team’s MVP as well as the best of three series MVP helping the Young Blazers to capture the 2009 title. The lone trophy for the Rising Stars 2 team in Division 2 went to Nyron Boucher.
Other Awards in Division One went to Keylon Edwards of East Blazers who had the most steals with 27 in 6 games, and Colin Blugh of Gladiatorz with the most assists; 21 in 6 games. Blugh also was adjudged the Gladiatorz MVP. There were also awards for the most improved players: Devon Pollard in Division 2 and Lamont Gordon in Division 1, both of whom have made impressive strides. Cosmus Hackshaw, who played for the first time in Division 1, was adjudged the rookie of the year. All first and second place team members received gold and silver medals each.
The Bequia Basketball Tournament, which opened on July 11th, is in its eleventh consecutive season under the leadership of BBA President Sabina Mitchell. Before the presentation of the 54 trophies, medals and awards recognizing team and individual achievements, Mitchell delivered a thank you address to the large crowd gathered for the Finals! She called the conclusion of the 11th tournament a night of celebration, not only for the victorious teams, but for the Bequia Community, and asked that they give themselves a round of applause for being able to celebrate so many years of basketball, a true community effort! She acknowledged the more than fifty persons who are directly involved in the administration of the game in Bequia, and who are responsible in a team effort for setting a high standard for basketball on the island. She attributes the smooth running of the tournament to the successful all inclusive formula developed, which includes the dedicated work of over thirty table officials, a very competent Games Secretary in Cornelius Farrell, hard working executive members, and a host of other helpers who run the “machine of basketball” in Bequia. She expressed her wish that it continue for many years to come. She concluded by expressing her gratitude to the business places for their financial contribution, and to the fans for their continued love of basketball and partnership in the effort.