It was a dose of double delight for the Future Pinelands Basketball Club as they won both the Under-16 and Under-19 Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s Summer Jam League titles last night at the Wildey Gymnasium.
And the new champion teams did it twice against the very same opponents when the Under-16s won the opening final 73-66 over Lakers Sports Club who also lost the second final 86-70 to two-time Under-19 kings Pinelands.
Tehron King, victorious coach of Pinelands Under-16 team, said the journey had been long with lots of hard work and dedication. “I told the guys from the beginning even if the rain fell, we still have practice in the Pine…As a coach, it was mentally exhausting having to repeat the same thing over and over but at the end of the day these guys are still young, they are the future,” King said.
The opening stanza was locked 13-13 and Lakers then took a two-point advantage, 30-28, at halftime which was enough time for the Pinelands Under-16s and the coach King to devise a plan on how to take that marginal lead away from Lakers and their coach Derek Browne.
And they did just that led by their top forward and league most valuable player Kyrone Alexander, the son of former national player Tito Alexander, who provided a game-high 21 points. The lads in grey and black went ahead 53-51 in the penultimate quarter and then went on to capture a most deserved win.
While Alexander was outstanding on both offence and defence and was most deserving of his MVP award, Kaliel Austin, the son of former national player Kirk Austin, gave a memorable shooting performance when he scored six three-pointers for a total of 18 points.
Alexander and Austin were a lethal combination for Pinelands and they received good offensive support from small-forward Justin Bailey who registered 17 points, Christopher Harewood tallied nine and Simeon Maynard with some exquisite ball skills contributed seven.
It is safe to say the future of Pinelands basketball looks bright with an array of talent especially their Under-19 squad which was coached by national center Charles Vanderpool. It was no surprise that the senior youth players of Pinelands commanded the first three quarters 30-23, 46-36 and 60-52 compliments small-forward Kiserian Adams who was named MVP for the league and the final for that division.
Adams led the way with a top score of 23 points for Pinelands while the other starting four reached double figures inclusive of point guard Rasheed Maynard with 21 points, Carl Thorpe with 20, Deroni Hurley with 13 and Rachad Hall, 11.
Those five really dominated Lakers who had the bigger team in terms of both size and height but Pinelands with lots of shooters in their attack also stood out with a strong defence that did well to restrict their opponents in blue from getting anywhere beyond the key on most occasions.
And, unfortunately for Lakers, they lost their tallest player Tre Ward with five personal fouls in the fourth quarter. Lakers captain David Walkes led from the front with 21 points, Brandon Ruck had 17 and Teriq Inniss scored ten.