Big bounce back win for The Bahamas
Team Bahamas improved its win/loss record to 1-1 at the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Championships for Under-17 Boys in San Juan, Puerto Rico, yesterday, after crushing Barbados 96-42.
The boys bounced back after a tough loss to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) in their tournament opener on Tuesday with a dominant wire-to-wire performance yesterday. On Tuesday, they fell to the USVI, 82-79.
Deondre Vilmar was The Bahamas’ top scorer for the second straight game,
finishing with 21 points against Barbados. He scored 18 and had a game-high 17 rebounds against the USVI. He was strong on the boards again yesterday, as he finished with 11 rebounds, and also dished out seven assists.
Franco Miller Jr. provided a huge spark off the bench for The Bahamas with 14 points and two rebounds; Cory Deveaux finished with 12 points, two rebounds and three assists; and Travaughn Nicholls put in 11 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists.
The Bahamas jumped out to a double-digit lead, 14-4, with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter. Nicholls came up with six of his 14 points in the opening period and helped his team to establish an up-tempo style of play, which is extremely beneficial for this team, given the caliber of athletes on the roster. They also locked in early on the defensive end in this game, forcing Barbados to commit eight turnovers before the end of the first period.
Team Bahamas went into the second quarter up 21-12, and extended that lead to 20, 45-25, at the half.
The Bahamas managed to stay hot as they came come out in the second half with the same intensity that they played with in the first half, despite being up by double figures. They went on to outscore Barbados 31-13 in the third period, and 20-4 in the fourth.
The length of the Bahamian squad proved to be a major factor in the game as they out-rebounded Barbados 52-38 and outscored them 58-24 in the paint. That same length was also beneficial on the defensive end as the Bahamian boys also forced Barbados to commit 42 turnovers in the game.
Brandon Hope led the way for Barbados with 13 points. He also had five rebounds and two steals. Amal Smith and Johnathan Dottin scored six points apiece and Keiron Savoury chipped in with four.
The Bahamas will be in action again today when they take on the host nation Puerto Rico. That game is scheduled for 8 p.m. local time.
In Tuesday’s opening game, Team Bahamas fell 82-79 to the USVI. In that game, The Bahamas got off to a rocky start, going down 25-14 after the first quarter. They came back to win the second quarter 19-16, but still trailed 41-35 at the half. The USVI responded to The Bahamas’ second-quarter surge with a run of their own, outscoring Team Bahamas 20-13 in the third. Despite The Bahamas outscoring the USVI 33-21 in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.
Vilmar finished that game with 18 points and 17 rebounds to go along with seven assists and three blocks. Phillip McKenzie scored 15 off the bench and Adrian Thompson chipped in with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Jamia Simmons was the USVI’s top scorer with 21. He also added 13 rebounds and two blocks.