by RENALDO DORSETT
Following the disappointment of 2014, the Bahamas national team will have an opportunity for a complete turnaround just a year later and will play the gold medal game in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation championship tournament.
Team captain Phylicia Kelly scored a game high 18 points to lead the Bahamas to a come from behind 57-53 win over Barbados yesterday at the second seminal in Tortola British Virgin Islands.
They will face Jamaica in the final tonight at 8:45pm for the gold medal.
Shalonda Neely nearly finished with a triple double, 13 points, 15 rebounds and seven steals, Shanea Armbrister finished with 12 points while Ashley Moss finished with seven points and a game high 15 rebounds.
Dale Marie Cumberbatch, Toni Atherly, Jamila Studer each finished with 12 points to lead Barbados.
Neither team shot particularly well from the field, or from three point range but the Bahamas outscored Barbados 34-20 in the paint to gain a distinct advantage,
The Bahamas entered the fourth quarter trailing by eight, 45-37, but that post play led to the Bahamas staging a frantic fourth quarter comeback.
Neely made the first shot the quarter and the Bahamas eventually tied the game at 48 when Moss split a pair at the line with 3:12 left in regulation.
Armbrister finally gave the Bahamas a fourth quarter lead with a three pointer from the wing, with just a minute left to play, 51-50.
She dished an assist an assist to Diasti Delancy on the ensuing possession to go ahead by three and the Bahamas made enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
Barbados limited the Bahamas to just six points in the opening quarter and took a 15-6 lead.
They also led 29-18 at the half.
The Bahamas finally won a quarter when they took the third 19-18.