Kwakwani extend YBG Conference dominance
- Marian, Port Mourant, Plaisance also win
By Edison Jefford
Port Mourant Training School, Plaisance Academy and Marian Academy all turned in interesting performances to win their respective Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) Conference, but it was the Big Ten that rocked the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall Saturday night.
Kwakwani Secondary School survived a late scare against Linden Technical Institute (LTI) to come away with a 48-45 points win in the Region 10, or Big Ten, Conference of the competition that was divided into four conferences across Guyana.
The top teams from the four conferences will advance to the National School Basketball Festival (NSBF) in July. Junior national guard, Dominic Douglas ensured Kwakwani will be the top seed coming out of Region 10 with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Douglas got support from the MVP of the Conference, Leonard Primo, who dropped 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Joel Webster led LTI with a game high 19 points and 13 rebounds. The fearsome forward had to lead in the final minutes of the game after his team’s offense collapsed owed to excellent defence from Kwakwani, which forced several turnovers and fast-break points.
Webster brought LTI back into the game after they had dominated the first ten minutes. Douglas and Primo combined to equal the scores at 16-16 with seven minutes left in the first half; the duo rushed the ball and forced Webster out of his position where he fouled Primo, who ensured that he give his team their first lead of the game.
However, LTI’s Ahkeel Primo nailed a big three-pointer to put his team up 19-17 before Webster took control of the paint again to lead the Linden Technical Institute to a 26-23 lead at end of the first half and added another four points at the start of the second half.
Kwakwani’s Coach, the effervescent, Ann Gordon, immediately switched to full-court pressure on defence and the momentum of the game changed. The scores were soon leveled before Elvis Thompson led Kwakwani on a run that put them 38-32 with eight minutes remaining before the end of regulation time.
Douglas then joined the party and extended Kwakwani’s run to 14-2 that put them ahead 44-32 as LTI’s offence froze. But Webster’s heroics that included several steals and fast-break finishes made an otherwise comfortable win a little difficult for Kwakwani.
Notwithstanding, Coach Gordon managed to hold off LTI and added yet another win to what has to be a burgeoning collection. Courts Pacesetters Chairman, Dennis Clarke earlier recognised the female coach as the best junior basketball coach in Guyana.
In the Berbice or Ancient County Conference, Port Mourant Training School got pass defending champions, Tutorial Academy 47-37 to win the Berbice Regional Title. Conference MVP, Antonio Aslam had 25 points and also received the leading scorer and most assist awards. He got support from Golburn December, who had 10 points.
The Conference Defensive Player was Trevon Mc Rae from Port Mourant, while for the Tutorial Academy, Jamal Felix had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
In the East Coast or Country Conference, Plaisance played undefeated to capture their second regional title, blowing out President’s College 55-28. The Conference MVP, Nikkoloi Smith had 19 points, 13 rebounds, eight steals and six assists. Smith also received the Leading Scorer and Defensive Player of the Conference Awards. He got help from Nduka Horatio with 18 points and Nicholas Cassius with 12 points.
Conference Most Assist award went to Kelvin Yorrick from Plaisance Academy while Durvash Roopnarine led President’s College for the second consecutive game with a top score of 10 points.
In the Georgetown or City Conference, Marian Academy finished undefeated to capture their second consecutive City title. They defeated a fighting Government Technical Institute team 40-28 in the Saturday night’s final.
Conference MVP, Marian Academy’s Ruel Ritch ended with 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Ritch also received the Most Assist award. He got help from Taquain Vieira, who had 12 points and six rebounds.
Conference Leading Scorer Award went to Dominic Vincente from Marian Academy and Best Defensive Player to Drexel Amsterdam from the Government Technical Institute. Patrick Reid top scored for the Technical Institute with eight points.
Digicel, Guyana’s Bigger, Better Network, was the main sponsor of the YBG Conference Finals.