We may be running out of superlatives to describe just how dominant the Bahamas junior national team has been in overwhelming the competition at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation U16 Championships.
The Bahamas scored a tournament high and delivered the most lopsided win of the event thus far with a 125-21 win over Dominica at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana.
Seven team Bahamas players reached double figures and every member of the 12-man roster reached the scorebook as they moved to 3-0 in the tournament thus far.
Domnick Bridgewater led the team with a game high 20 points and nine steals, Chosen Levarity had 18 points and nine rebounds, Samuel Hunter scored 13, Derrico Burrows and Devonte Jennings each added 12 points, Alfredo Brown scored 10 and Christopher Johnson finished with a double double, 11 points and 12 rebounds.
“This is a well balanced all around team. We are very strong in every area. We have shooters, dribblers and post players,” Johnson said before the team left for Guyana, “We have everything to bring back the gold.”
Jennings also had a game high eight assists, while Michael Williams grabbed a game high 14 rebounds. Michael Cartwright also finished with six points and seven rebounds.
“All we have to do is play hard,” Jennings said, “We need to go out there and execute.”
The Bahamas scored on the opening tip and followed with easy baskets on their first four possessions. Hunter’s fastbreak dunk made it 8-0 in just 1:10 of game time.
Dominica made a free throw to stop the run, but the Bahamas scored another six points before Dominica made its first field goal of the game nearly six minutes in.
The Bahamas led 34-8 at the end of the first quarter and led 61-11 at the half
They opened the third on an 18-0 run before Dominica finally reached the scoreboard out of the intermission.
The Bahamas took a 93-17 lead into the fourth quarter en route to eventually finishing with a tournament high 125.
Defensively, the Bahamas forced 58 turnovers, 52 of which were steals. They also limited Dominica to just 12 percent shooting from the field and zero fast break points.
It was another dominant performance for team Bahamas, as they steamrolled the British Virgin Islands, 101 – 40.
Michael Cartwright was a force at the pivot once again and finished with a team high 17 points and nine rebounds. Domnick Bridgewater and Samuel Hunter each finished with 14 points, while Michael Williams added 13 points and was one of three Bahamian players with at least eight rebounds.
“This team is very good,” Cartwright said prior to the tournament, “Everybody is in sync, everybody knows what they are doing, everybody knows their role and I think we have a very good chance of winning the gold.”
Chosen Levarity finished with a near double double, nine points and eight rebounds, as did Dericco Burrows who added eight points and eight rebounds.
“This team is better than the last time I played on a national team,” Levarity said, “We have a very good chance of bringing the gold back home. We bond very well and we look at each other as a family.”
After a slow start to the game where both teams struggled to score early on, the game was tied at five early on. The Bahamas was able to get in sync and closed the first quarter on a 15-3 run to end the period with a 20-8 lead. A relentless halfcourt trap for the Bahamas stifled the BVI offence all game as their ballhandlers struggled to get the ball beyond the time line.
Thompson’s layup made it 34-11 midway through the second to give the Bahamas their first 20 point lead of the game. They ended the half on a 28-9 run capped by Brown’s buzzer beating floater to give them a 48-17 lead headed into the half.
Early in the third quarter Hunter made a three from the corner to push the lead to 40, 57-17.
It was part of a 31-6 run in the quarter, which included a 20 point flurry in just over five minutes which led to a 79-23 lead headed into the fourth.
K’Moi Walters and Donaldson Layne led the BVI scoring with 10 points apiece.
The Bahamas routed Antigua and Barbuda, 109-71 in the tournament opener.
Bridgewater led the Bahamas with 16 points and six assists, both game highs.
He was one of seven Bahamian players in double figures including Cartwright who added 10 points and 16 rebounds,
Thompson finished with 14 points, Hunter added 12 points, while Joshua Cornish, Devonte Jennings and Christopher Johnson each finished with 11.
The Bahamas is among a group of 10 teams for the boys’ championship. Group A includes the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Dominica. Group B includes Aruba, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the hosts Guyana.
The top three teams, both men and women, earn berths to the Centro Basket U17 Championship where they compete for spots in the FIBA Americas U18 Cup, from which they can qualify for the FIBA U19 World Cup or the Youth Olympics.