Team Bahamas routs Barbados in classification round at Centrobasket

TAKING CONTROL – Rhema Collins, pictured with ball, had a 17-point 10-rebound double-double in Team Bahamas’ 83 – 41 victory over Barbados yesterday, July 10.

The Independence Day pride flowed through Team Bahamas yesterday, July 10 where they picked up a morale boosting victory down in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the 2019 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Under 17 Women’s Centrobasket Championships. 

After the women’s national team dropped two-straight games in pool play, July 8-9, The Bahamas rebounded and took care of business against Barbados in the classification 5-8 round. There was not shortage on the offensive end as The Bahamas rolled to an 83-41 victory. 

Grand Bahama’s Kendi Outten finished with just three points, but added three rebounds and three assists to her credit. Outten also came away with two steals. Rhema Collins, though, led the way with a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double in the route. Laverne Armbrister added 10 points and four rebounds. A quartet of players, Denika Lightbourne, Karolyn Baptiste, Michell Butler, and Erin Arianna Williams  also chipped in with eight points each.

The Bahamas got rolling early and held a 20-7 lead to close the first period. By halftime their double-digit lead stood at 34-11. Team Bahamas turned up the defensive pressure and did not allow Barbados to garner any momentum. Team Bahamas out-scored Barbados 27-8 in the third period and led 61-19 headed into the fourth quarter. 

The Bahamas will take on Costa Rica in the fifth place / sixth place contest this afternoon at 3:15 p.m.   

The national team suffered two heartbreaking losses before their blowout victory on Independence Day. With a trip to the semifinals on the line this past Tuesday, July 9, The Bahamas fell to Guatemala by a narrow margin, 65-64. 

In the contest prior to that loss, Wednesday, July 8, Team Bahamas suffered their biggest loss of the tournament at the hands of Puerto Rico. The Bahamas lost that contest by a final score of 83-43. 

After those two losses, head coach Varel Clarke-Davis said it was important to remind the girls that there was still a lot to play for during the tournament, which led to their renewed energy when they faced off against Barbados.

“I keep trying to preach to them to play basketball. Keep it simple and fundamentally sound. I think after today’s game (July 10) they really, finally got it. I’m happy to see that they’re happy with this win. The unity was good today, they passed the ball well and our defense was on point today. Against Guatemala we didn’t play much defense.

“But now they’re very excited coming off this win. The goal now would be to come out strong and secure fifth place,” she shared. 

Team Bahamas got off to a hot start on Sunday, July 7 at the Centrobasket Championships.

Grand Bahama’s Kendi Outten did her part in that  79-59 victory over El Salvador in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The St. George’s Lady Jaguar finished with six points, going two-for-two from the three-point arch. She also dished out two assists and came away with one steal on the defensive end. 

The team was led in scoring by Antonicia Moultrie, who totaled 14 points on Five-for-11 shooting from the field. She also collected nine rebounds and collected two steals. 

Rhema Collins turned an 11-points, 15-rebound double-double  and finished with three steals and three blocks. Michell Butler also added 12 points and eight rebounds in the win. 

Both teams navigated through the feeling-out process in the first period but Team Bahamas eventually trailed El Salvador 19-17 when the buzzer sounded. 

Team Bahamas, though, took complete control in the second period and out-scored El Salvador 23-9. Headed into halftime the Bahamian national team owned a 40-28 lead. 

El Salvador answered back strongly in the third quarter, out-scoring Team Bahamas, 22-20. Still, Team Bahamas maintained a double digit edge over El Salvador, 60-50, headed into the final period. 

Ultimately El Salvador’s comeback effort fell flat as Team Bahamas ran away with the victory by out-scoring their opponents, 19-9 in the final period. 

Collectively, Team Bahamas shot 42 percent from the field, while shooting 62 percent from the three-point arch. They controlled the rebound battle, collecting 52 rebounds in contrast to El Salvador’s 40. Team Bahamas scored 28 points off turnovers, and found easy baskets at ease by scoring 44 points in the paint compared to El Salvador’s 32. 

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