It was a competitive start to the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s No.1 Beauty Supplies and Exchange Women’s League as Combined Schools Hoopsters and Pinelands registered respective wins in their best of three semifinal games.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the two was the opening clash between University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds who lost a nail-biter 53-49 (16-8, 31-26, 41-38) to Hoopsters at the Barbados Community College last night.
In the second semifinal match Pinelands defeated Burger King Clapham Bulls 71-67 with scores after three quarters being 15-13, 30-31 and 51-46.
In the featured game Hoopsters had a handy eight point lead heading into the second quarter and UWI needed to play catch-up and half way into that period they did well to cut the deficit to three points at 27-24. Blackbirds captain Tonya Corbin with a top score of 20 points brought her side back into the game. She also had 15 rebounds with six on the offensive end and nine on the defensive. None of the other players for UWI reached double figures with Ashley Rock chipping in with seven.
Top scoring for Hoopsters was Ashlee Daniel with 14 points and Latifah Wood, ten.
Hoopsters needed a response from one of their key players and it came from Winmalicia Bowen with consecutives two pointers out of her tally of 12. That gave Hoopsters the advantage by five points at half time.
When the third quarter commenced Hoopsters tried their hardest to maintain the lead but weren’t the best on defence and allowed UWI shooters Corbin and Nakita President to dribble through the spaces or shoot at the basket without much challenge. At 38-32 to Hoopsters Corbin broke their flow with two free throws followed by a two-pointer to make it 36-38 with under three minutes to play.
With seconds on the clock President tied the scores 38-38 for UWI but Hoopsters captain Tatyana Walrond netted two vital points that gave her team the edge heading into the fourth and decisive quarter.
It was anybody’s game at this stage and at one point it was looking as though UWI could have won the game but thanks to Daniel and Bowen in the dying stages Hoopsters were able to hang on for the win.
In the other match Maria Cumberbatch top scored with 30 points for Pinelands, Sade Clarke added 17 and Tamisha Flatts had 11. Meanwhile Bulls’ attack was led by Janiece Clarke with 27 points, Makela Walcott chipped in with 15 and Rhea Holder had 12.