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Amelia’s Ward Jets capture Under-23 basketball championships

first_imgBy Joe ChapmanTHE Amelia’s Ward Jets were able to overcome a strong Kwakwani side 70-68, to capture the Linden Amateur basketball Association/Hamid Foundation Under-23 basketball championships in dramatic style last Saturday night at the Mackenzie Sports Club hard court.Jets were able to snatch the win after the final’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), Akini Wilson, scored a reverse drive to the hoop to score with 15.2 seconds on the clock and stifled the Kwakwani unit out of the game to come away victors.After knocking off Half Mile Bulls in the semi-finals, the Jets found themselves against the outsiders Kwakwani in a final which seemed to favour the running game of the out-of-town side.With that first-quarter spurt led by Troy David, the tournament’s MVP, and his captain Leonard Primo, the Kwakwani side looked formidable but Jets remained in contention as they pulled within reach at half ime, trailing 31-37.By then Akini Wilson, Vibert Benjamin and Keison Butters had come to the party and made incisive plays down low to upset the rhythm of the un-ranked Kwakwani players. But the third quarter saw the visitors pull away once more and look for the kill as the third quarter finished 54-46 for the underdogs.However, the Jets would not go away and they pulled within a basket, adrift 54-56, with 6:18 to go. The Jets captain Shannon Cadogan then hit a floater as they remained in contention 56-58; but then David penetrated for a four-point advantage.Wilson sank a hook shot with 2 mins 28 secs left after the Kwakwani team, under pressure, turned the ball over and Butters played big with a penetration that sent his team ahead 65:64 with 1:16 remaining.Kwakwani regained the lead with just over a minute to go. Cadogan had a chance to send his team into the lead but could only hit one of two free throws for a tied game at 68. with 49.1 seciods to go.But with the tension rising with every second Kwakwani lost possession to the pressing Jets side and, after taking the ball cross court, the pass went in to Wilson on the left low post. He rounded his man and swished the ball for the go-ahead basket with 15.2 seconds remaining.Then Jets defended well to ensure victory was once again earned from pretty good team play as they were crowned the new champions and left Kwakwani dejected from that heartbreaking loss 70-68.The top shooters for the game for the winners came from Wilson with 23 points, Vibert Benjamin 17, Keison Butters 13 and George Yearwood 10. The Kwakwani best players were Tournament MVP Troy David with 18, Leonard Primo 13 and Domar Gladstone 10 points.In the third-place playoff game defending champions and top seed Half Mile Bulls pulled out a 51-49 win over fourth-ranked Retrieve Raiders. Tahquille Johnson and Terron Welch each had 15 points for the Bulls while the Raiders top scorers were Travis Sutton with 16 and Coel Winter 14.The championship trophy, donated by Gordon Moseley Promotions, was handed over by Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland while the replicas, compliments of Save The Children Foundation, were handed over to the winning team by LABA president Lawrence Simon.The Most Valuable Player-of-the-Final Trophy, donated by LABA, went to Akini Wilson and that was presented by the Public Relations Officer of LABA.The Most Valuable Player Trophy for the Tournament, won by Kwakwani’s Troy David, was donated by World Access. It was presented by Tracey Liverpool and the second place trophy was presented by Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira.Before the final game the teams were introduced by LABA president Lawrence Simon to Regional Executive Officer of Region Ten Gavin Clarke and Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland.Abdulla Hamid of the Abdulla Hamid Foundation, who collaborated with LABA, thanked the many sponsors who came on board including Gordon Moseley, Save the Children Foundation and World Access.last_img

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