POLICE were crowned women champions of the 2020 National Basketball Federation TT (NBFTT) Invitational Championships on Sunday when they defeated Defence Force 77-50 at the Maloney Indoor Arena, Maloney.
The lawwomen took advantage of the absence of Army`s star player Jameela McCarthy as they led from the tip-off to the end of the match. Police completed the first quarter scoring 20 points to their opponents’ eight. In the second period, Police added a further 25 points while Army netted eight points as the scoreline read 45-16 at the halftime interval.
The second half was more keenly contested but it was always an uphill task for Army to catch their law enforcers counterparts. At the end of the third quarter, the score-line was 57-33 and Police widened their lead to 25 points at the final whistle.
The Most Valuable Player for the season, Kielle Connelly, contributed 21 points, four assists and five rebounds. Connelly scored a total of 137 points with an average of 27.4 points per game. Her ever dependable teammate, Joelisa Cooper, recorded a double-double (15 points,10 rebounds) and Afeisha Noel (11 points, 17 rebounds) also had a double-double.
Defence Force`s Crystal-Ann George was all over the stats sheet especially in the absence of McCarthy. She had 20 points, 14 rebounds and five steals whereas Leah Kintiba had eight points, nine rebounds and five steals.
Cooper commented on her team`s triumph. “We are very much ecstatic about the win; we have been champions for a while. Police Service has a lot of individual talent and to put all those talent into one team was a great accomplishment for us. There were some shortcomings in the game and we have intentions of adjusting them and to compound on what went well.”
Cooper added, “Congratulations to the MVP Kielle Connelly, her work was unmatched, her drive towards success is always there. Also, I congratulate the rest of the team for our outstanding work and performances night after night.” Cooper who is known for advocating for women sport in TT said, “Going forward, I wish that women sports in this country is taken more seriously.”
She also hailed the work done by the league’s organisers.
In the bronze medal match, Brian Chase Basketball Academy defeated Enterprise/Maloney Combine 58-51. For the Academy, Allison Young was the top scorer with 26 points followed by Ize-Tao Best (15), and Ornella George (eight). The Combine topscorers were Breanna Charles (15), young prodigy Carissa Ramdial contributed 13 and Amariah Cline chipped in with 12.
MVP – Kielle Connelly (Police)
Best Defensive Player – Tia Bruno (Police)
Most Promising Player – Carissa Ramdial (Enterprise-Maloney)
Top Performing Coach – Ashton Peters (Police)
Most Outstanding Manager – Mellio Campbell (Police)
Most Outstanding Physio – Wayne Samuel (Defence Force)