Most Valuable Player Shaquan Carrington starred with a game-high 25 points and led Christ Church Foundation to their first Massy United Insurance Senior Boys Under-19 Basketball title in over a decade on Saturday night.
The final played at the Barbados Community College was a raucous and euphoric affair with drums and other musical instruments creating an electric atmosphere, complemented by chanting of spectators off the court and riveting, frenetic action on it. Foundation, knocking at the door for quite sometime, defeated former champions Harrison College 70-58 when the final whistle was sounded by female referees Shaikra Shorey and Gillian Martindale.
Carrington, a junior national player and point guard was named finals MVP and teammate Khamal Boyce, a forward was the league MVP.
The lads from Church Hill, coached by Ianthum Alleyne, were assertive enough to command the first three quarters 17-13, 29-28 and 43-38, which set things up for a memorable win. With last night’s success to start the new year, this is perhaps a sign of things to come for Foundation who are the reigning champions of the girls title at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championship [BSSAC]. Foundation’s track and field athletes who were in attendance will definitely seek to feed off that confident win by the basketballers to take a clean sweep at BSSAC.
Carrington had four three point baskets in the game and was a major force for Foundation, shooting from all angles and was given sufficient space by Harrison College’s defence to take a number of uncontested shots
Boyce with a slam dunk in the opening quarter finished the game with 14 points, Dominic Jervis and Valdez Brathwaite both netted 11 points each and were vital for Foundation on the offensive end especially Jervis, one of the better shooters on the team.
This would be the second consecutive year that Harrison College has reached the final and failed to go all the way. Despite a good effort from point guard Christian Holder, top-scoring with 23 and Joniton Fowler ten, the lads from Crumpton Street gave it their best shot but lost grip of the title in the third and fourth quarters.
Foundation with a five-point advantage (43-38) opened up the fourth period with two consecutive three point shots compliments of Carrington, followed by Jervis with a three of his own that took the tally on to 52-41 which was cause for celebration as Alleyne and his troops upped the tempo in what was an extremely fast paced encounter.
Holder and company tried their best to keep the scoreboard ticking over but it was not an easy task for Harrison College who were coached by Dario McCollin. And even though at 49-60 Fowler scored two, along with a three-pointer each from Holder and Zachary Knowles coming onto the latter stages of the match, it was all a bit too late as the fat lady had already began to sing.
Victorious coach Ianthum Alleyne expressed how proud he was of his team and said hard work and defence were the key elements to his team’s success.
“I am proud of my guys, they were great. Khamal [Boyce the league MVP] he was coming here to win, he wasn’t taking second place and that filtered though to the others,” Alleyne said.
The last time Foundation won a basketball title was in 2008 when they captured the Under-16 title and Alleyne said the basketball programme at the school was in a somewhat deficient state.
“It is lacking. We need equipment, most of the equipment we have I particularly got myself to get it [basketball programme] going and keep it going,” said Alleyne, also coach of Premier League team Pan American Insurance Warrens.
Meanwhile Harrison College coach McCollin gave credit to Carrington and said he knew they were coming up against a talented team.
“I love the way we fight, we made some mistakes but that never-say-die attitude makes me proud of my guys. Earlier in the game we missed a lot of layups, we gave up a lot of second chances and I think that would have put us up at half-time by at least by five or seven points and coming onto the stretch [home] they really hit,” McCollin said.