The Bahamas has advanced to the FIBA Americas Women’s Centrobasket Championship in November after taking care of Jamaica in the third placed game of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Women’s Championship yesterday, winning 68-57, at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum in Havana, Cuba.
It was an up and down tournament for The Bahamas at the CBC Championships, losing emphatically to Cuba and the Dominican Republic (DR), but taking care of Jamaica when it needed to – during the single round robin section of the tournament and prevailing in the game yesterday, to advance. Earlier in the tournament, they defeated Jamaica 74-53.
In the semifinals on Saturday, The Bahamas was drubbed, 81-58, to the DR, losing by 23 points again. They also fell by 23 points to the DR during the single round robin section of the tournament. In their first game of the tournament, against Cuba, they lost 76-44.
However, the top three teams advances to Centrobasket, and given their dominance over Jamaica, Team Bahamas was able to move on with a third place finish.
The Bahamas trailed just briefly, 2-0, in the opening minutes of the game against Jamaica.
After they went ahead 3-2, they never looked back. After Jamaica scored the first basket of the game, The Bahamas scored seven in a row to take a 7-2 lead. They went on to lead 18-14 after one.
Jamaica stayed close in the second quarter, but could never pull even or surge ahead. They stayed within striking distance, trailing just 32-29 at the half.
It was in the third quarter when The Bahamas began to pull away from the Jamaicans. After Jamaica got to within a single point at 32-31, The Bahamas went on 10-1 scoring run to take their first double digit lead of the game, 42-32. They led by as much as 14 before settling for a 50-38 advantage at the end of three.
The Bahamas led by as much as 19 points in the fourth and final quarter. The Jamaicans scored the final eight points of the game to make the score respectable, but it was too little too late for them.
Britenique Harrison paced The Bahamas with 14 points on 7-for-12 shooting. She added 10 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double, and third of the tournament. Denika Lightbourne had 12 points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists, and Valicia Demeritte added 12 points. They were the only players in double figures for The Bahamas.
Amen-Ra Faatimah led Jamaica with 12 points and added eight assists. Ashalee Gordon and Cadene Cowan added 11 apiece and Gezelle Allison dropped in seven and pulled down 12 boards. Cowan had a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Bahamas shot 35.4 percent from the floor (28-for-79) compared to 27.9 percent (19-for-68) for Jamaica. The Bahamas also forced a whopping 27 turnovers in the game while committing just 14, and dished out 16 assists compared to 11 for Jamaica.
Host country Cuba and Jamaica played for the gold medal late last night. The result of that game was unavailable up to press time.
Team Bahamas was coached by Donillo ‘Donny’ Culmer and he was assisted by Devon Johnson and Diasti Delancey. The five-day tournament was sanctioned by FIBA (International Basketball Federation), and the top three nations qualified for the FIBA Americas Women’s Centrobasket Championship in November.