Bajan girls go down fighting
SPANISH TOWN – Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls predictably swept their three-match series against Barbados, when they came from behind in the last quarter to win the final contest 40-33 here Sunday night.
Trailing 30-31 early in the fourth quarter at the GC Foster College, Jamaica rebounded spectacularly to outscore the Barbadians down the stretch and complete an easy victory in the end.
The game was the closest of the three, with the hosts winning the first 57-36 on Friday night and the second on Saturday, 50-29.
Despite the defeat, Barbados coach Anna Shepherd said she was satisfied with the team’s outing.
“I am very pleased with our performance. We just lapsed a bit, especially after the time-outs from Jamaica. Every time they did it, they broke our rhythm but I’m very pleased with this performance today [Sunday],” Shepherd said.
For Jamaica, goal shoot Shantal Slater led with 17 goals from 20 attempts while goal attack Shanice Beckford supported with 14 from 17. Deneen Taylor, with five from seven attempts, and Thristina Harwood, with four from eight, played minor roles.
Barbados’ effort was spearheaded by goal shoot Nikita Piggott, who shot 13 from 15 attempts, with goal attack Sheniqua Thomas netting 13 from 17. Goal shoot Shonica Wharton chipped in with seven from 11.
The contest was competitive from the outset, with Barbados, who started with teenagers Wharton and Thomas in the shooting circle, Sabreena Smith (wing attack), Damisha Croney (centre), Shanice Rock (wing defence), Rhe-Ann Niles (goal defence) and goalkeeper Shonette Bruce going on a run during the first quarter to lead 8-7 at the interval.
As expected, Jamaica hit back strongly, outscoring the Barbadians 12-6, to post a 20-13 advantage at the half-time whistle.
Both teams showed great intensity in the third quarter with Jamaica continuing to lead, but with Barbados slowly chipping away at their advantage. The visitors then sparked an eight-goal unanswered run to draw within three at 28-25 at the end of the quarter.
Their momentum continued in the final quarter as they snatched the lead at 30-31, to set the stage for a big upset. However, Jamaica held their nerve and utilised their experience, outscoring Barbados 10-2 in the final minutes. (CMC/EZS)