By RENALDO DORSETT
THE Bahamas was one of four teams to finish the 2013 Centrobasket Under-17 Championship with a single loss on their record and, despite a fifth place finish, established themselves as a force to reckon with in the region.
Several of the Bahamas’ team members stood out among the statistical leader boards at the conclusion of the five-day tournament hosted in Puerto Rico.
Rashad Davis led the team in scoring, and was fourth among all scorers at 15.8 points per game.
Davis opened the tournament with a 20-point effort off the bench in the 68-64 comeback win over the US Virgin Islands. He scored a team high 22 points against Costa Rica and totalled a double double against the British Virgin Islands with 15 points and 21 rebounds.
Davis also scored 13 against El Salvador and nine in the lone loss to Puerto Rico. The versatile wing player was also fourth in the tournament in rebounds at 8.4 per game, fourth in blocks with 1.6 per game and 10th in steals with 2.2 per game.
The Bahamas’ strong play in the front court continued with Jordan Wilson who was one of few players in the tournament to average a double double.
Wilson scored 11.4 points and finished second in the tournament with 11.8 rebounds per game. Defensively, he finished second in blocks at two per game and also averaged three steals per game and posted double doubles in three of the five games and he finished with seven points and 12 rebounds in the opener.
His final three games included 12 points and 10 rebounds against Puerto Rico, 12 points and 11 rebounds against BVI and16 points and 12 rebounds against El Salvador.
Qyemah Gibson was also dominant in the frontcourt with 10.8 points per game and was third on the boards at 8.8 rebounds per game. He posted a double double in the opening game against USVI with 12 points and 15 rebounds and finished with 21 points and seven rebounds against Costa Rica.
Point guard Shakwon Lewis was a stat-sheet-stuffer in every game for Team Bahamas. The diminutive point guard averaged 12.4 points, five rebounds, finished fourth in the tournament at four assists per game and fifth in steals at three per game.
His most productive outing was a 19 point, four rebound, five assist and four steal performance against Costa Rica. He scored 16 against Puerto Rico, finished with seven points and 10 assists against the BVI and closed out the tournament with nine points and 11 assists against El Salvador.
Charles Bain was the top three-point shooter on the team at 30 per cent and averaged 9.2 points per game.
After opening with a 2-0 record, the loss to Puerto Rico knocked the Bahamas down to the reclassification round and an eventual fifth place finish. They needed to finish among the top three to advance to the 2014 Tournament of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas.
The Dominican Republic eventually won the tournament with an 85-58 win over Puerto Rico in the gold medal game.
Mexico earned the third Tournament of the Americas spot with a 62-60 win over the USVI in the final round.
Mexico, like the Bahamas, finished the tournament at 4-1.
Next up for the BBF, the Bahamas is scheduled to participate in the Under-17 Centrobasket Championships for Women in El Salvador, August 28 to September 1.
The draw was held last week and the Bahamas was placed in Group B alongside Mexico, USVI and the hosts.
Group A includes Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Honduras.
The participating teams were divided into two groups that will play a first phase round-robin within the group.
The top two teams from each group qualify for the semifinal where the top team of Group A will play the runner-up of Group B and vice versa.
The semifinal winners will advance to the final.