The three-peat wasn’t to be.
Christ Church Foundation totally outclassed defending champions Springer Memorial 26-19 to be crowned queens of the 2017 Barbados Secondary School’s Under 19 Netball Competition this evening.
Playing at the Netball Stadium, the girls from Church Hill, Christ Church owed it all to the Most Valuable Player in the tournament goal shooter Romancia Odwin who had a game-high 17 goals from 24 attempts as she only failed on seven occasions to put the ball in the net.
She was assisted by Chiara Chase who bagged 9 goals from her 11 attempts.
Taking to the court again without their star player Rashanna Thorne, Springer Memorial heavily depended on the services of goal shooter Jada Smith who had 18 goals from her 23 attempts and Sierra Coward who failed to score, with Springer’s other goal coming from Julisa Jones-Smith who started at wing attack but shifted to goal attack.
Springer’s defence of Shonte Seale, Julicia Boyce and Diamond Hollingsworth struggled all evening to cope with the six foot Odwin who utilized her height advantage to help her team lead in every quarter of the game (7-5, 6-4, 6-5, 7-5)
From the sound of the referee’s first whistle Foundation looked the part and had the skills and technique to back it up with some precise passing by center Quanya Rudder who ensured the ball reached Odwin who was on a rampage early on.
The defending champions who were in all sorts of trouble were all over the court at times, making many unforced errors much to their opponents’ advantage.
Foundation had a four-point lead at halftime 13-9 which meant that the Springer girls had to come from two quarters down if they were to clinch what would have been a third netball title in as many years. However, it wasn’t to be.
Springer started the second half slightly better than how they ended the second quarter with their coach urging them on from the sidelines and momentum was on their side for a short spell when new wing-attack Reniqua Lyte- Griffith was introduced.
Julisa Jones-Smith upped her game manoeuvring around the court and finding Smith who tried extremely hard to get the Springer ladies back in the game and ended the third quarter only down five points with 19-14 the score.
Despite a promising third quarter, after Romancia Odwin scored the first three points of the decisive ten minute period the writing was on the wall, and the Government Hill girls knew at that moment they were staring defeat full in the face and their title was slipping away.
As the game got into the latter stages Foundation remained extremely calm and credit must be given to them on the defensive end as well as to goal defence Chante Moore and goalkeeper Sheridan Straughan who made some vital interceptions and blocks throughout the contest.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY after the final, Foundation’s coach Sandrene Jordan was overjoyed by the victory while stating that she never doubted her players’ ability.
“It feels great. I want to say a big thank you to the girls from Foundation, I didn’t have any doubt that Foundation would win the under-19 title. When you look at the players most of them were playing netball for three years together. So if they had lost the game today it would have been Foundation that wanted to lose…But I could not see Foundation losing. We preached team defence and at times freezing the ball and it worked,” she said. Foundation have previously won netball age titles but this marked the first occasion they were winning the under-19 title.
In the third place match, Queen’s College got the better of Lester Vaughan 16-9.