By Morissa Lindsay
Team Barbados registered a great 19-18 victory over Jamaica as they rebounded from a disappointing 17-16 loss to St. Lucia in their opening match of the 2022 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3X3 AmeriCup competition being played in Miami.
The national side comprising Rasheed Maynard, Derioni Hurley, Deveron Knight and Joel Hunte played well but failed to advance. Both matches against Jamaica and St. Lucia were competitive.
Against the Jamaican team that included Weyinmi Rose, David Gordon, Kevin Foster and Malik Andrew, Barbados took a commanding 14-8 lead by taking their shots and charging at the basket whenever necessary. The talented four of Maynard, Hurley, Knight and Hunte also did what was necessary to draw Jamaica into committing fouls as well.
The fast-paced basketball encounter which carries a maximum of ten minutes saw most of the players breathing heavily and Jamaica who appeared out of it came storming back on offence. They did well to tie the scores 16-16 and then took the lead.
But Maynard who has been outstanding for Barbados in the tournament so far, as well as Knight, managed to remain composed and went on to win the game after the Jamaicans committed a few errors. Knight was given two free throws when Barbados trailed by one point 18-17 and he scored them both to secure the advantage and lead at 19-18.
Against the St. Lucia team of Andre Louison, Keegan Preville, Sharmoir Baptiste and Tory Louison, Barbados got unlucky as Baptiste scored the crucial layup and give his team the win. At the beginning when the match was locked 3-3, Knight utilized his long strides to drive through the lane and scored a wonderful layup to break the deadlock and give Barbados a 4-3 lead.
Going hard at the basket is nothing new to Knight as he did so often this season in the recently concluded Barbados Amateur Basketball Association Club Challenge. Knight with his height and athletic ability was able to get the ball and score.
However, while he did his thing Maynard also came up big for Barbados at crucial moments of the game when he hit those two-point shots from outside the arc. In this form of basketball, a shot from outside the arc is given as two while inside counts as one. Whereas in normal basketball, a three pointer is scored from outside the arc, a two is given once registered inside the paint and free throws are counted as one.
So, Maynard with his ability knocked down the outside shots and kept Barbados in the contest as they trailed by two (12-10) and ensured St. Lucia did not get too far ahead. When St. Lucia appeared as though they were getting ahead on offence (13-10), Maynard nailed consecutive two pointers which kept the Bajan lads in it.
With the scores tied 16-16 with 25 seconds to play, Hurley with an unfortunate foul on Baptiste allowed St. Lucia to take the one point lead and ultimate victory.