In their first matchup, The Texas Elite Squad were able to get the better of the Cayman team, defeating them by 10 points in a very competitive and exciting matchup. It was obvious that champions of the tournament would emerge from these two teams. In Game 1, Texas was able to pull away in the dying minutes of the game, taking advantage of their physical strength as a team which seemed to wear down the Cayman defense. Texas had a slight edge in rebounds, Cayman shot slightly better from the field (34.6%) vs Texas (34.5%), Both teams struggled from the free trow line, shooting less than 60%. Rebounding, turnovers, assist and blocks were nearly identical. After the final buzzer, the bitter taste of defeat was one that the Cayman team would not experience again.
The rematch came on July 20th at 7:00 pm as the final game of the Festival. Cayman would look to slow down the eventual tournament MVP – Isaac Jackson – who posted 25 points, 15 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 assists to lead the team to victory in game 1. Cayman played its classic In-your-face defense; applying full court pressure on the Texans who seemed to be up for the challenge. But as the 4th quarter came around, the pressure appeared to finally get to Cayman’s opponents as some costly turnovers came around int eh final minute of play.
Cayman was led by Joshua O’Garro’s monster game of 29 points, 16 rebounds, 8 steals and 9 assists, just shy of a quadrouple double! Teammate Joanki Espinal came out hot and stayed hot the entire game, posting his tournament best 25 points. Tareaque Simpson added a solid 15 points and 9 rebounds while Brad Lansdell added 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals including the go ahead bucket in the 4th quarter from which Cayman would not look back.
Cayman made the home crowd extremely happy and it was a fitting end to the inaugural Cayman basketball festival. Cayman finished 2nd only because they defeated Texas by less points (8) than their opponents win in game 1 (10), giving the Visitors the win based on head to head result. However, Cayman was electrified by the performance of its home team and looks forward to more boys and girls action in the near future.
Technical Director Victor “Voot O’Garro, said a very special thank you to the Sponsors; Ministry of Sports, Cayman Islands Olympic Committee and Hertz Rent-A-Car for their instrumental support in making the tournament a success.
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