TORTOLA – Barbados’ women flattered only to deceive and were mauled yet again, this time losing 84-59 to The Bahamas, as action in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships continued this evening in Tortola.
Barbados’ offence in the tournament has basically been a two-woman affair with Canada-based Dale-Marie Cumberbatch and shooting guard Toni Atherley leading the effort. This afternoon Barbados rushed into an early 13-4 lead but then went into a first-quarter funk where after six unanswered points from The Bahamas, strong defence limited Barbados to two points over the last minutes of the first quarter which ended locked at 15.
This was a game which The Bahamas had to win to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the semi-finals. They had to wait on the result of the game between the US Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic later tonight to find out their status in the tournament. For Barbados it was their third loss on the bounce.
At the start of the second quarter a mid-range basket by Tracy Lewis gave Bahamas a one-point lead at 18-17. With pressure defence leading to turn-overs by Barbados, The Bahamas took a four-point lead at 25-21. Bahamas ran into foul trouble during the quarter but this was not capitalised upon by the Bajans and at the end of the second quarter The Bahamas led 37-31.
Any expectations that Barbados would make a game of it in the second-half soon disappeared as the combination of Shanea Armbrister, Jonquel Jones and Britenique Harrison dominated proceedings.
Cumberbatch and Atherley, who have both had three excellent games, tried to keep Barbados in the contest but the help just was not forthcoming from their team-mates. Cumberbatch netted 24 points to go along with seven rebounds, two blocks and two assists in 39 minutes. Atherley chipped in with 15 points and ten rebounds in 35 minutes of solid effort. Tiffany Thorpe, who has struggled somewhat in the championship, had four points and four rebounds to show for her 35 minutes on court.
The final period of the game was marked by Barbados forcing the game without proper organisation and taking a number of shots that did not find their target. Armbrister led The Bahamas with 25 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Jones who played well on both ends of the court netted 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. She also harried Barbados on the defensive end leading to a number of steals. Harrison had ten points.
Meanwhile in their game yesterday evening, Barbados struggled again and were beaten 83-65 by the US Virgin Islands.
While the USVI registered their second victory to remain unbeaten in the tournament, the loss was another hefty defeat for Barbados following their embarrassing 86-42 rout at the hands of the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.
Yesterday’s encounter was a much closer affair, though the USVI led throughout and were never in any danger of losing their grasp on the game. The USVI quickly asserted their dominance in the match with a 14-4 run by the end of the first quarter.
Barbados improved on their offensive play in the second quarter with, once again, Atherley and Cumberbatch leading the comeback effort. Barbados managed 19 points in the second quarter and with a bit more urgency on defence took the game into the break at 38-23 but still with much to do to get back into the contest.
With not much offence coming from the likes of Ashlee Daniel, who failed to score in 12 minutes on the court, Winmalecia and Winmarie Bowen whose combined 26 minutes on court resulted in two points, and Thorpe who scored four points in 26 minutes, coach Terry Inniss was forced to keep Atherley (36 minutes) and Cumberbatch (38 minutes) on court for lengthy periods.
For the USVI, Natalie Day and Tanecka Carey had terrific games on both ends of the court. Day dropped 25 points on Barbados in 23 minutes of action and added eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block shot for good measure. Carey netted 23 points in 21 minutes.
While Barbados improved on their offensive output in the third quarter, they got very few stops on defence as Carey and Day enjoyed themselves. It was the most productive quarter for the USVI who scored 34 points to Barbados’ 21 and closed out the period with a 72-44 advantage.
It would have taken a herculean effort for Barbados to get back into the game and for the USVI’s game to go into complete meltdown for a reversal of fortunes and this was never to be.
Barbados, though, to their credit, played their best defence in the final quarter as they looked for a way back into the game. They limited USVI to 21 fourth-quarter points while they matched their third-quarter effort with 21 points. But the large deficit, that had started from the first-quarter, was just too steep to overcome and the USVI duly closed out the encounter.
Barbados were hurt on the boards where the USVI grabbed 45 rebounds to their 28, inclusive of 16 offensive boards. The Bajan lasses also turned over the ball a whopping 22 times to the USVI’s 12.
For Barbados, Cumberbatch had a game-high 28 points and ten rebounds, while Atherley netted 18 points, dished out four assists and grabbed eight rebounds.