The senior girls’ basketball picture has changed in the Coast of Bays as the once dominant Falcons from Conrad Fitzgerald were trashed by the Predators from Bay d’Espoir Academy in a 2A Qualifying Tournament held on March 5.
Three teams entered tournament action for the right to participate in the 2A High School Provincial Basketball Tournament scheduled to be held in Fogo in late March.
The Falcons have dominated girl’s basketball for the past three to four school years and were the team to beat entering tournament play.
However, two other teams, the Rebels from John Watkins Academy and the Predators, have really improved their game in the last year or so and wanted nothing more than to ground the Falcons.
The improvement in the opposing teams was clear from the outset as the Rebels kept the score close in a match with the Falcons. However, the Falcons did win out in the end by a score of 36 to 31.
The second game was also a close contest between the Rebels and the Predators. However the Predators prevailed in the end and won 48 to 41.
The Rebels played the Falcons again in the last regular match of the day and kept the score close throughout the match. However, the experience of the Falcons came through in the end and they won 43 to 33.
The championship match came down to an exciting contest between the Falcons and the Predators.
The Falcons got off to a flying start and led 12 to 8 after the first quarter. The lead seesawed back and forth in the second frame but the Predators were leading 24 to 23 going into the second half.
Neither team could run away with the score in the third quarter but the Predators held on to a 36 to 35 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Predators could sense victory and were out to defeat their archrivals and claim the 2A banner. The Predators’ strength and stamina started to show and they began to run away with the score.
To make matters worse for the Falcons they lost one of their best players, Kerri Williams, who fouled out in the fourth quarter. But fouling out is a part of basketball and the Predators took advantage of the situation.
The team, led by Caisie Watkins, Nicole Hickman, Robyn Lilly and Chantel Caines, started to dominate play. The Falcons, led by Keisha Rose, did their best to stay in the game but the Bay d’Espoir girls were on a roll and were having none of that.
The Predators outscored the Falcons 19 to 5 in the final quarter and went on to win the game and the championship on the strength of a 55 to 40 score.
Wendy Woodman is the coach of the Predators, a team that only started playing high school basketball in January of 2010 following a long period of inactivity in girls’ basketball at Bay d’Espoir Academy.
“This was a great win for us,” Woodman said. “We knew coming in that the competition here today would be tough, but we wanted to prove that we could play with the big girls. The girls have come a long way since January of last school year, and I’m very proud.
“We know that the competition will be strong at the provincials, but we’ll be ready to take on all comers.”
Andrea Bartlett, a co-coach of the Falcons, said, “The Predators played a good championship match and our hats are off to them. However, we’re very proud of our girls, we’ll keep our spirits high, and we’ll be back next year to take on the Predators again.”