Duke dominated the annual competition and defeated East Blazers to claim the gold medal of the First Division championship of the Vita Malta Bequia Basketball 14th Annual Tournament. The tournament came to an exciting conclusion for hundreds of patrons last Saturday and Sunday nights at the Clive Tannis Hard Court in Bequia as Duke won East Blazers easily in two games of the Best of 3 finals.
In the Second Division, the Wizards, who had a perfect record in the first round of competition, came out victorious, after forcing a Game 3 in the final series vs.
Blazing Heat, each team having won a game on Wednesday and Saturday nights to tie the series.
The U16 competition saw Young Wizards win the gold medal defeating last year’s defending Champions Titans.
The Bequia Basketball Association, led by President Sabrina Mitchell put the 77 games of the Annual Championship into the history books on Sunday night, completing fourteen consecutive seasons of competition on the Grenadine Island!
The annual competition began on July 9th and saw a record fifteen teams compete in three divisions four times weekly.
Good weather prevailed for the summer months with a few postponements that were promptly rescheduled, and the tournament came to its anticipated concluding date of September 2nd.
The U16 category, whose player uniforms are provided by the Association, boasts the most teams in the competition, as the BBA ensures its growth and sustainability.
The young players, all between ages five and fifteen bring a strong fan base to the game as family, siblings and well-wishers came out in their numbers to support the children.
With the rapid growth of teams in this young division, it is clear that the continuity of basketball in Bequia for the foreseeable future is guaranteed.
In the First Division Duke Coach Seneca McIntosh knocked out 4th place Gladiatorz in the semi finals last week, while East Blazers defeated 3rd place and defending champions Bequia Tech Ring Stars in a close semi final knock out game to make it to the finals.
The scoring prowess of Duke’s shooting guard Ishama McKree and center Jonas King was not matched by East Blazers, a team with deep talent, who frequently make it to the final round of competition, but usually come up short and take the silver medal.
For the First Division individual awards, McKree of Duke took the most point’s trophy with 161, and the most assists trophy, with 32 in 8 games.
He was also adjudged Final Series MVP.
Teammate Jonas King was adjudged overall Tournament Most Valuable Player and also awarded Duke MVP award, and most rebounds award with 128 in 8 games.
King, the 6’5” centre and brother of Shawn King, who now plays in Euro basket French league, has received the overall First Division MVP for the last four consecutive years.
Kelan Edwards of the silver medal Blazers was adjudged his team’s MVP; Edwards is also involved in the administration of the game as Executive member and coach of both the gold medal winners Wizards and Young Wizards.
Bequia Tech Rising Stars 6’ 6’ center Kirstin Lampkin was awarded his team MVP, while teammate Cregg Friday who is on a basketball scholarship in Taiwan received the most blocks award with a whopping 47 in 8 games! Warriaz and Gladiatorz most valuable players were Keon Skinner and Ewing Andrews respectively.
In the second division dog fight and Game 3 of the finals on Sunday, Wizard coaches Kelan Edwards and Keithroy Lavia were unrelenting and were finally rewarded with the victory that eluded them in the 2011 upset to Young Blazers, when they had to settle for a silver after being undefeated in the first round of competition.
Determined not to repeat this embarrassing scenario, the Wizards’ most valuable player power forward Xavaughn Dennie scored top points in all three games and dominated the series.
Dennie was part of the Windward Islands school team that competed in Grenada in July this year.
His teammate center Orando Blugh took the award for most blocks with 17 in 6 games and had two beautiful slam-dunks in the final series.
Second Division individual awards were dominated by 3rd place team Young Duke and center Delwin Simmons, whose team was unfortunately eliminated in the knock out round.
Simmons received the most rebounds award with 95 in 6 games, and was adjudged most improved player in that division.
With the best personal statistics, Simmons was awarded his team MVP as well as the coveted overall Second Division Most Valuable Player.
Silver medalist and defending Champion Blazing Heat’s Mark Browne took the MVP award for his team as well as the most points trophy with 86 and most steals with 26, both in 6 games.
His teammate Jemuel Hutchins collected the most assists in Division 2 with 13.
Sharas Foyle of the Rising Stars II team that finished this year in the cellar position was awarded his team MVP award.
U16 team Young Wizards’ nine-year-old Jermaine John, who began playing at age 4, was awarded his team’s most valuable player and Final Series MVP.
He led the his team to victory with the able assistance of teammate Denilson Lewis, who was adjudged the most improved player in the U16 category which has six teams.
Individual awards in that division were dominated by rookie Givin Forde who received 4 awards: adjudged Dragons MVP and the U16 overall MVP, as well as most rebounds and most blocks with 183 and 19 respectively.
The third place Hornets’ Anthony Thomas was his team MVP while Cody Compton and Hezron George of Hawks and Rockets took their team MVP award.
Silver medalist Sydian Warner, MVP for Titans captured the most points with 172 in ten games, and Nicholas Lewis of 4th place Dragons captured most steals with 63 in 10 games.
Last year’s U16 MVP Kaicy Peniston captured this years most assists with 17 in 10 games.
In her closing remarks, Mitchell gave a special thank you to the tournament sponsors, Vita Malt and the St.
Vincent Brewery, Courts SVG Ltd., Bequia Technology Centre, the Frangipani Hotel, and the Mary Tidland Foundation of Canada, as well as the Bequia business community, patrons and fans for their continued partnership and financial support of basketball in Bequia.
She urged all to continue to support young people in sports, especially the children playing on teams, which keep them focused and occupied during the summer holidays.
She thanked the more than sixty registered volunteer officials who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a smooth and successful competition, ranging from executive members, table officials, referees, gatekeepers, bartenders, Dj’s, and cleaners.
Special recognition was given to first time Games Secretary Michael Peniston whose organizational competence was to be commended in coordinating a team of 25 officials for every single game night! She expressed her satisfaction with the players at the continued record of good discipline and sportsmanship in the tournament, and that the event once again finished on schedule.
Lastly, she welcomed visiting FIBA Referee Norval Young of the British Virgin Islands to Bequia and thanked him for providing the high standard of officiating in the final series, along with colleague Shem Ollivierre, veteran Antho
ny Primus and Rex Pollard of Bequia who ran the FIBA three-man referee rotation in the final games.
The Association will celebrate its Fifteenth Competition in 2013.