Station Hill Cavaliers and University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds are set to contest the finals of the No.1 Beauty Supplies and Beauty Exchange-sponsored Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s Women’s League.
The two powerhouses of women’s basketball on the island secured their places in the final when reigning queens Cavaliers defeated Hoopsters 63-58. They led at the quarters, 15-11, 35-22 and 50-42. While in the other semi-final match-up, UWI also won their series 2-0, trouncing St John Sonics 66-50 after leading at the intervals, 27-17, 41-23, 56-35.
Cavaliers shooting guard Maria Cumberbatch netted a game high 30 points and seems to have her eyes set on the most valuable player award. And at the rate with which she is currently scoring in the competition it is very likely. Point guard Tamisha Flatts has also been in good form this season and she contributed 19 to Cavaliers’ total. Ria Phillips and Danesha Elcock chipped in with eight points apiece.
Hoopsters Tatyana Waldron with 16 points, Latifa Wood 14, Melissa Goodman 13 and Leann Forde 11, made an effort for their team which tried to fight their way back but was held off by the dominant Cavaliers unit.
The score was 45-39 to Cavaliers when Forde netted two to carry Hoopsters on to 41 and brought down the deficit to four. Flatts however nailed a big three pointer followed by two to put Cavaliers on 50 and in the process made a statement to the Hoopsters youngsters; that they needed to take a seat and watch how big women do things.
The Stations Hill ladies were eight points clear in the fourth and decisive quarter and they were allowed to have their own way especially Cumberbatch and Flatts who utilized the semi-circle well, waited on good passes to come their way just outside the paint and would either take the shot or dribble their way hard through Hoopsters defence for those vital lay-ups. It was those kind of plays that allowed the 2014 queens to reach 60 points comfortably.
Credit must be given to the young Hoopsters team who still fought until the final whistle and after they reached 54 points Waldron and Wood went hard at the basket to put in one last effort and with just under a minute to play they both found two-pointers but by then it was all a little too late.
In the other game played UWI dominated Sonics who had the services of Chantal Husbands after she had missed the first semi-final game. Her presence never made much of a difference, though, as UWI commanded the game throughout. Husbands with 12 points and her sister Tiffany 15 along with 11 from Wanda Small were the main weapons for Sonics. But they could not contain Tiffany Thorpe who ended with 21 points for UWI. Sade Haynes added 17, while Jada Saunders and Tonya Corbin contributed eight each.
The score was 37-23 to UWI in the second period and with less than two minutes to play Haynes scored four points and expanded UWI’s lead by 18 and they maintained that momentum going into the penultimate quarter.
Jacqueline Browne had six in the game and two of those allowed the university ladies to reach 50 in the third quarter as UWI netted 21 points compared to Sonics’ 12. That about summed up how the Blackbird ladies controlled the encounter.
Sonics reached 41 points in the fourth quarter and Chantal showed she could hit them big when under pressure with consecutive threes but UWI’s defence soon cooled her down as they went on to take the win.
The final is scheduled for next Tuesday at the Wildey Gymnasium starting at 6:30p.m.