Team Bahamas did not get a repeat performance of last year CARIFTA in water polo, but they played their hearts out over the weekend and will return with gold, silver and bronze.
The under-16 boys team won a gold medal, the under-14 mixed team won the silver medal and the under-19 team finished with a bronze medal at the Barbados Aquatics Center, in Wildey, Barbados, yesterday. The Bahamas won gold in all three divisions last year.
The under-16 boys team prevailed 12-11 over Trinidad and Tobago, in the gold medal match.
At the end of the first half, The Bahamas led 8-4. The score remained a four-point spread in favor of The Bahamas at the end of the third quarter, 11-7. However, the Trinis came all the way back in the fourth quarter. They scored four times but the boys in the aquamarine, gold and black headgear got the goal they needed, enabling The Bahamas to come out on top, 12-11.
In their first game, The Bahamas won 24-1 over Curacao, and then defeated Trinidad and Tobago 11-7 in their second game of the weekend.
They proved that they are the better team as they handled Trinidad and Tobago again in the final.
After the final whistle, Head Coach Laszlo “Coach Lotty” Borbely jumped in the pool and the rest of the team joined him in a much-deserved celebration.
Mataeo Ferguson was instrumental for Team Bahamas in the under-16 boys division. The Bahamas dominated, finishing the tournament undefeated in the under-16s.
Playing in Team Bahamas’ final game of the tournament was the under-14 mixed team. They played against a very strong Trinidad and Tobago team, but came out on the losing side this time, falling 24-15 in the championship game.
The Bahamas led 6-5 at the end of the first quarter, but then Trinidad and Tobago pulled even and went into the half with a 10-8 lead.
In the second half, Trinidad and Tobago dominated, especially on the counter-attack, and created a lot of space to score goals.
The Bahamas had great chances to score but it was Trinidad and Tobago who was the more aggressive team. The Trinis used a 14-7 goal advantage in the second half to walk away with a 24-15 victory.
In their first game of the tournament, The Bahamas’ under-14 team defeated Bonaire, 24-2. Trinidad and Tobago defeated The Bahamas 12-6 to hand them their first loss of the tournament.
On Saturday, The Bahamas won 13-4 over host nation Barbados. In the match to determine if they were going to the gold medal game, they defeated Curacao, 9-1.
Dominic Demeritte was a key goal scorer for Team Bahamas throughout the tournament in the under-14 mixed age group.
Capturing the bronze medal against Bonaire was the under-19 boys team with a 15-10 victory. The Bahamas held on to a 5-1 lead after the first period. Bonaire closed the gap to two goals, 7-5, at the half.
By the end of the third quarter, The Bahamas led 11-7 before winning the game 15-10.
They fell to Trinidad and Tobago 16-7 in their opening game, but defeated Bonaire 19-8 in their second game. The host nation took down Team Bahamas, 13-12, in a nail-biter in their third game.
Gabriel Sastre had a good showing for the under-19 team as he was effective offensively.
Before heading to Barbados, Coach Lotty said that they were in a rebuilding phase as he lost a lot of his players due to age restrictions and college commitments so he had to bring in new players.
Making up the mixed team were: Dominic Demeritte, Logan Carey, Kaitlyn Williams, Justin Miller, Dereo Maycock, Christian Deveaux, Ashley Darville, Seth Roberts, Wesley Ingraham, Matthew Thompson, Joshua Gibson, Remington Minnis and Tonny Simon.
The under-16 boys team consisted of Alexander Turnquest, Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield, Mataeo Ferguson, Aidan Johnson, Jelani Grant, Gabriel Encinar, Thomas Illing, Oliver Roberts, Jayden Fernander, Jayden Seymour, Skyler Dean, Akeil Smith and Dominic Beneby.
The under-19 team included Adonis Sasso, Loron Bain, Johnathon Demeritte, Adrian Burrows, Thor Sasso, Kurdero Major, Kurdaz Major, Damian Gomez, Jahkai Gray and Gabriel Sastre.
Assisting Coach Lotty were Anthony Knowles and Chris Illing. Brenna Turnquest was the team manager.
Coach Lotty said all three teams displayed great teamwork and character throughout the tournament.
Jump Line – Coach Lotty said all three teams displayed great teamwork and character