– add more NSBF titles to inventory
By Edison Jefford
Ann Gordon’s basketball programme at the Kwakwani Secondary School was too advanced for Chris Bowman and his Marian Academy squad; the result of a final clash between the two teams resulted in triumph for Kwakwani and embarrassment for Marian.
Kwakwani Secondary School thrashed Marian Academy 66-46 in the later of
two National Schools’ Basketball Festival (NSBF) finals Sunday night, extending its dominance at the schools level to an impressive record that will take some years to overhaul.
Leonard Primo dropped 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Kwakwani with the national junior forward, Dominic Douglas adding 13 points and 12 rebounds. Elvis Thompson scored an equally important 11 points to also help Kwakwani dismiss Marian.
Ruel Ritch was the only player in double figures for Marian with 12 points and 10 rebounds and was given the ‘Most Assists’ award. Primo copped the ‘Most Rebounds’ award while the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award was controversially taken from Dominic Vincente.
Apparently Vincente, who attends Marian, was given the award initially only to have the decision awkwardly rescinded following the official presentation ceremony. His father, Patrick Vincente expressed his disappointment over the move when he spoke to Kaieteur Sport.
“It was unprofessional. It could break a player like him and down his spirit. I think there could have been a better way to deal with something like that. He was not even given an apology or an explanation if it was an error,” Vincente indicated yesterday evening.
Earlier in the night, Kwakwani had also secured the younger age group final, beating the Bishops High School 82-68; Kevin Joseph scored 27 points, Kerrol Phillips 18 points and 12 rebounds and Otianno Conway 15 points and nine rebounds for Kwakwani.
In the feature game, Kwakwani was trailing 4-6 at the start of the first quarter, but Thompson lit up the net from three-point range to change that advantage. Douglas and Primo continued to use their height and power in the paint to maintain dominance over Marian.
Kwakwani took a high percentage of three-pointers but Primo put-back then inside move helped them race to a 21-12 lead with seven minutes left before halftime. It was clear that Kwakwani had a clear strategy to get the ball inside to their line of quality forwards.
Their Coach, Gordon, who Digicel recognised earlier this year as an outstanding personality, had enough arsenals in the paint to give her offensive and defensive boards that were converted at a high percentage. The ‘bigs’ out-muscled Marian on both ends of the floor.
Marian’s Dale Beresford buried a big three-pointer to narrow the scores, but Kwakwani went to the halftime break leading 36-19 after outscoring Marian. Primo continued his work on the board in the second half to give Kwakwani their biggest lead of the game.
Then Kwakwani unleashed a savage offensive assault on Marian that forced Bowman to resort to his seat on the bench several times, as he downed his head helplessly. Gordon continued to prove that her nursery of junior players is perhaps the best in Guyana. Digicel, Guyana’s Bigger, Better Network, was the main sponsor of the tournament.
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