Garrison queens of netball
Garrison Secondary School are the queens of the Barbados Secondary Schools Netball League after a superb 22-19 victory over St Lucy Secondary in a keenly contested final at the Netball Stadium on Thursday.
Garrison nullified the clear and present danger of repeat MVP Jeneice Clarke by rallying behind a total team effort and top shooting from Shannon Hackett, who scored 16 of her 18 attempts and centre court contributions from Tynisha Rowe to capture their first senior title since 1996.
It was like Kadooment when Garrison were crowned champions and the one thing missing was their No. 1 fan, principal Matthew Farley who was unfortunately kept away because of the school’s speech day ceremony.
Coach Sandra Bruce-Small pointed to the constant reminder of Farley’s instructions to play with confidence, and the former national player and coach stressed that it was total team work and digging deep when it mattered that gave them the title.
“We never expected an easy fight, although Springer were not in the final, as the shift of players from one school to the other saw most of the schools becoming even more competitive,” Bruce-Small stated.
Failed to build
St Lucy coach Shakera Shorey lamented the last quarter disintegration where her team failed to build on the earlier leads.
“I cannot fault our defence which gave 110 per cent but it must be something mental where our offence did not make use of the good midcourt play,” an expectedly disappointed Shorey stated.
The competition started in 1995 and prior to that the Barbados Netball Association’s competition had been dominated by some keen battles between the Garrison and St Lucy.
Garrison finished second to Springer Memorial last year when Clarke represented the Government Hill School.
With St Lucy leading 5-4 and 11-10 in the first two quarters, the battle on the court and in the stands seemed to be heading for a tight finish.
The defence of the robust Leah Bannister of St Lucy also made life tough for the Garrison shooters.
The court craft of senior national player Clarke was awesome as she skilfully played off of the ball and then materialised in the path of the Garrison’s passes to pick off steals with uncanny ease.
Unfortunately, most of Clarke’s teammates seemed to be in the bakery business as they served up too many turnovers to extend any substantial lead on Garrison.
Earlier, Christ Church Foundation failed to capture their third successive third spot as they were beaten by Combermere 24-13. Sheniqua Thomas sunk 17 of 25 and Makeda Boxill scored nine of 14 for Combermere.
Foundation suffered with Barbados Under-19 vice-captain Chemayne Alleyne turning up after the first two quarters with her team trailing 7-13. Alleyne then scored six of eight while Tyeisha Warner made six of nine.
Garrison Secondary 22 (Shannon Hackett 16/18, Nikita President 5/8, Venessa Reid-Cox 1/5). St Lucy Secondary 19 (Markayla Yearwood 17/29, Janee Watson 1/3, Jalisa Haynes 1/2).