The T&T Police Service (TTPS) is the 2019 - 2020 champions of the NBFTT National Invitational Championships (NIC) after defeating rivals T&T Defence Force (TTDF) 77-50 in a lopsided affair on Sunday 26th January, 2020 at the Maloney Indoor Sport Arena.

In the absence of star player Jameela Mc Carthy due to injury, the Defence Force was clearly at a disadvantage from the jump falling to a 12-point deficit (8-20) in the first quarter of play. Despite the unavailability of the TTDF’s key contributor, forward Crystal-Ann George came out aggressive from the start as she scored six (6) of Defence Force’s eight (8) points heading into the second period.

With a defensive strategy by Army to limit the on-court production of Police’s key player Kielle Connelly, sharp shooter Joelisa Cooper immediately stepped in offensively going 3-for-3 from behind the arc to add to the defending concerns of the TTDF women. Things went further downhill for Defence Force when national player and dominant centre Afeisha Noel checked-in mid-way in the second quarter to strengthen the defensive presence of the Police women. With her strong display on both ends of the court, Noel easily registered 11 points and 17 rebounds, her second double-double performance in just two games. George relentlessly attempted to keep the army-coastguard unit in contention, recording a 20 point to 14 rebound double-double along with 5 steals.

However, the more comprehensive Police group and game-high 21-point performance by Connelly was too much for the TTDF to withstand. In the first game of the night, Brian Chase Basketball Academy (BCBA) and Enterprise-Maloney Combine (EMC) battled head to head in an evenly contested matchup for the NIC third place position. Led by thirteen year old phenom Carissa Ramdial (13) and the athletic Breanna Charles (15), the youthful EMC group seemed to be in control of the game for the first three quarters.

Veteran forward Allison Young, along with a 15-point offering by 15 year old Ize-Tao Best kept BCBA within striking distance despite trailing 25-34 at the end of the second quarter. Some timely scoring by centre Ornella George in the last period helped Brian Chase regain control, going up by 7 points (58-51) in the closing minutes of the game. Young, who lead the team offensively all season finished with a total 26 points to secure BCBA’s third place finish, as the women’s division of the NIC concluded. EMC’s thirteen year old Amariah Cline scored a season high 12 points in her team’s fourth place finish.

 

Final Scores (Sunday 26th January, 2020)

BCBA (58) v (51) EMC (Women Third Place) 

BCBA – #13 Allison Young (26), #1 Ize-Tao Best (15), #23 Ornella George (8) 

EMC - #6 Breanna Charles (15), Carissa Ramdial (13), Amariah Cline (12) Interval Scores (BCBA-EMC) –  1 st Quarter: 16-16  2 nd Quarter: 25-34  3 rd Quarter: 42-42  4 th Quarter: 58-51

 

TTPS (77) v (50) TTDF (Women Finals)

TTPS – #5 Kielle Connelly: 21 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds. #11 Joelisa Cooper: 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists. #17 Afeisha Noel: 11 points, 17 rebounds, 1 block. #10 Leslie-Ann Bacquain: 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals.

TTDF – #12 Crystal-Ann George: 20 points, 14 rebounds, 5 steals. #14 Leah Kintiba: 8 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals. #10 Trimmaine Ganteaume: 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist. #13 Ayana Mack: 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal.

Interval Scores (TTPS-TTDF) –  1 st Quarter: 20-8  2 nd Quarter: 45-16  3 rd Quarter: 57-33  4 th Quarter: 77-50

 

Special Awards:

MVP – Kielle Connelly (Police) 

Best Defensive Player – Tia Bruno (Police) 

Most Promising Player – Carissa Ramdial (Enterprise-Maloney)

Top Performing Coach – Ashton Peters (Police)

Most Outstanding Manager – Mellio Campbell (Police) 

Most Outstanding Physio – Wayne Samuel (Defence Force)

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