By RENALDO DORSETT
THE latest chapter in the rivalry with Antigua and Barbuda went to the Bahamas as they continued their undefeated streak at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships.
The Bahamas finished atop Group B with a 69-61 victory over Antigua and Barbuda last night at the tournament in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. They will advance to face the second ranked team from Group A tomorrow at 6:45pm in the first of two semi-finals.
David Nesbitt finished with a double double - 16 points and 10 rebounds - to lead Team Bahamas. Eugene Bain added nine points, Michael Bain Jr added seven points while Magnum Rolle and Tehran Cox both scored seven.
Kadeem Coleby was an anchor on the defensive end with six points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots.
Heading into the fourth nursing a double-digit lead, the margin widened with a follow up dunk from Nesbitt and consecutive mid-range jumpers from Coleby.
The Bahamas appeared well on its way to a 20-point lead before Magnum Rolle went down with an injury with just under five minutes left to play. His status for Saturday’s game remains undetermined.
Antigua went on a 13-0 run as the Bahamas suffered an 0-6 stretch from the field with four turnovers. They cut the lead to five after a fast break dunk by Ernest Scott. Bain ended the drought with a free throw followed by a steal and fast break layup.
Leading by five, the Bahamas forced a shot clock violation with 1:34 left to play and Nesbitt’s putback sealed the win on the offensive end.
The Bahamas won the rebounding battle by seven and scored 13 second chance points while Antigua managed just four.
In the first, Antigua went ahead 7-3 early on and looked to dominate early but the Bahamas forced a key turnover and Kentwan Smith answered with a three.
Antigua went ahead 15-8 before Torrington Cox responded with a much needed three pointer from the wing to keep pace.
Eugene Bain ended the quarter with a steal and made one of two at the line after an international foul.
Cox missed a three at the buzzer and the Bahamas trailed 18-16 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second, it was Tehran Cox’s fastbreak layup on the opening possession for the Bahamas that tied the game at 18.
A Nesbitt layup tied it once again at 20 and the teams traded three-point plays to tie again at 23. Tied again at 27, the Bahamas went ahead by four on a Leon Cooper layup and six on a Torrington Cox fastbreak dunk. They eventually took a 36-29 lead into the half.
Cox opened the third quarter with a three-pointer to go up by 10 and eventually sparked an 8-1 run for the Bahamas.
Magnum Rolle added a three, Cooper finished a fastbreak layup and Rolle split a pair at the line for a 45-30 lead.
After Antigua cut the lead down to seven, Michael Bain turned good defence into offence with a steal and fastbreak layup that reignited the Bahamas’ scoring.
Nesbitt made a deep three-pointer with under a minute left to play and the Bahamas was able to keep their opponents at bay for the remainder of the period.
Another late jumper at the buzzer was waived off and the Bahamas took a 55-41.
It was the first single digit win for the Bahamas after winning their previous three contests by an average margin of 18 points per game.