The Bahamas ended its participation at the FIBA Americas Under-15 (U15) Centrobasket Championships on a strong note on Wednesday, but the sting of its first three losses lingered as they failed to qualify for the 2023 FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship.
Altogether, The Bahamas finished fourth with a 2-3 win/loss record.
On Wednesday, they got their second consecutive convincing win of the tournament, turning back the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), 79-56, at the Coliseo Fernando ‘Rube’ Hernandez in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.
TCI started aggressively, scoring the game’s first points on a successful three-point shot by Roldjudson Lacossade, and took a five-point lead in the early going, but Team Bahamas responded, orchestrating a 9-2 scoring run, never looking back.
Team Bahamas stretched its lead to 24-15 after the first quarter, and continued to keep TCI at bay in the second. They led 36-27 at the half.
The Bahamas pushed the lead to double digits early in the third period and went on to lead 61-45 at the end of three. TCI got no closer than 14 points in the final period as Team Bahamas coasted to the easy win.
After being slaughtered by 65 and 50 points, respectively, in their first two games against the host nation Puerto Rico and Mexico, The Bahamas went on to lose by 11 to the Dominican Republic, then defeated Costa Rica and TCI in their final two games. It’s safe to say they got better as the five-day tournament progressed. However, as a result of the slow start, they failed to qualify for next year’s FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship.
On Wednesday, Desmond Hall paced The Bahamas with 25 points on 9-for-19 shooting. He added four steals and had a +/- of plus-21 in the game. Joshua Williams added 16 points, 10 rebounds and four steals for The Bahamas – recording the country’s first double-double of the tournament.
Condae Smith was the country’s only other player in double figures, scoring 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting.
Dylan Morris scored a game-high 28 points on 12-for-19 shooting for TCI, and added 10 rebounds and three assists but also had a whopping 12 turnovers. Lacossade was the only other player in double figures for TCI with 13 points.
Overall, The Bahamas forced 30 turnovers while committing just 14 and outscored TCI 27-13 off those turnovers. They dominated in the paint, winning that battle 52-38 and shut out TCI in bench points, 13-0.
The Bahamas shot 38.4 percent from the field (33-for-86), while limiting their opponents to 34.3 percent shooting (24-for-70). As shown, turnovers certainly played a factor as The Bahamas put up 16 more shots than their opponents.
Team Bahamas was coached by former national team player Quentin ‘Three Ounce’ Hall. As mentioned, the tournament served as a qualifier for the 2023 FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship. FIBA Americas is one of five regional bodies under FIBA (International Basketball Federation) – the world’s governing body for basketball.