By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
(Note: this is the second of a four-part series reviewing the year in sports).
All team sports were able to complete their 2017 season, with the exception of football.
Cavaliers fend off Royal Knights for 5th BVICA title
Unbeaten Cavaliers withstood their biggest test of the season to win their first BVI Cricket Association Twenty 20 League title in four years and fifth overall, by fending off Royal Knights’ charge for a thrilling seven run victory.
In completing their unbeaten season and meeting their goal of winning the title, Cavaliers
used Royston Duggin’s crucial five wickets haul to repel their opponent, after they posted a 209 target for 2014 champs Royal Knights to chase.
“We wanted this tournament badly, we’ve got the team but always beat ourselves and Royal Knights pushed us and there are some good teams, but especially today, but we came out champions,” Cavaliers manager Vishal Bharat said. “I have to give credit to the guys. They’re the champions.”
Royal Knights stumbled out the gate as Jagnarine “Sugar” Persaud grabbed the first two wickets for 11 runs including Ryal Mangal for a duck.
“What an exciting finish. They played the entire tournament without losing a game, but in the finals, I think we challenged them today,” Royal Knights manager Gordon French said while congratulating Cavaliers on the victory. “In the end, we came up short, but, it was a good team effort. No one expected us to be here in the final. We were counted out after being on the brink of elimination, but we beat defending champions Vincy. We fought back Road Town Wholesale, another strong team and made it to the final. Unfortunately, we came up short but we’ll be back next year looking to win again.”
In Division I, Vikings beat Under The Tree by 11 runs, after posting 165 then restricting their opponent to 154. Vikings who were demoted from the Premier League, that year, will return to the league in 2017.
Mystics topple Legs 92-77 for first BVIBF League title
The once dominant Legs who have won eight BVI Basketball Federation Sr. Division League Championships, the last in 2014, were toppled by the Virgin Gorda Mystics, 92-77, to claim their first title.
The Mystics were led by Championships MVP Killven Samuel, who followed up Stephon Caul’s game high 28 points with 27 points and 20 rebounds to go with four steals and three assists. Steve Parillon contributed another 15 points and seven rebounds.
“The game was a good game overall and they were beating on the boards,” Samuel said. “At the half, we made adjustments to crash the board a little bit more and be a little bit more aggressive on the defensive end. I would say the better team won.”
Jasin Rhymer Sr., led the Legs with 23 points. Dione Blyden chipped in 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Jomoiri Dagou finished with 15 points. Devorn Furlonge pulled 12 rebounds to go with his eight points and St. Thomas’ Kitwarner Rhymer grabbed 10 off the glass and contributed six points to the tally.
Samuel said the league was competitive overall and their championship series with Legs which they won 3-1, was very competitive. He said both teams were missing key players in the deciding game.
Winning the title, Samuel said, means a lot to the Virgin Gorda Mystics.
“For years Virgin Gorda has been trying and working towards a championship and I’m happy to be part of that team to actually bring the title home for the first time,” he said. “My MVP award I’m very proud of that but I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates. Even though the award was awarded to me, that award was for all of us—everybody that’s on the roster and who played for that championship.”
And One repeats as Jr. Basketball champs
When the Jr. East Rockers players decided to follow coach Derwin Scatliffe’s advise to try and stop defending BVI Basketball Federation Jr. Division champions And One, it was too late.
And One used 18 points from MVP Demoii Dagou, 12 from Ryan Richardson and 10 from Lestin Wiltshire to turn back Jr. East Rockers, 68-60, to repeat as BVI Basketball Federation Jr. Division champions.
“The initial plan was to run, try and take the bigs legs, take the ball to the hole and put the ball inside to get the bigs in foul trouble, but the team waited until the last five minutes left in the third quarter to try and get aggressive and start the run,” Scatliffe explained. “By the time we got in the fourth quarter and And One started getting tired, they started holding the ball it was already too late.”
And One’s coach Brian Brewley said it was a wonderful game but hard from the beginning.
“Omar Walker who did a great job for them and put up 26 points on us in the second game and he was the offense for the team and our game plan was to box him out and let the other players try to score,” he said of the strategy that limited Walker to seven points. “At one point my team wanted to relax and I told them there’s no tomorrow. I wanted to end it tonight because I won’t be here.”
Repeating Brewley said is a great deal because it means that the program works. He said he has three teams and an overflow of players.
“My personal goal is to have the 18 year olds playing in the Senior league and the 16 year olds in the Jr. Division, so I know the program is working,” he said. “This team will be back next year to challenge for the title again.”
In the Women’s Division, Shauliqua Fahie had a game high 21 points and 12 rebounds in leading the Jr. National Team to a 54-47 win over defending champs Lady Bulldogs. Mahkyala Pickering poured in 17 points and Keithrece Smith 14.
Daria Malone topped the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points, Tafara Phillips, finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
TYP topples defending champs Hawks for Softball’s crown
Aiming to force a fifth and deciding game in the series, defending Virgin Islands Baseball Softball Association Harriette Skelton Softball League champions Hawks’ rally fell short in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners in scoring.
“I was one player short. I was hurting for pitching tonight,” Hawks manager Julian Adams said following his team’s 15-14 loss to That’s Ya Problem, setting off a wild celebration by his opponents on the infield. “The team played well despite all the bloops and blunders we made earlier, but I’m still proud of them. I will be shopping for pitchers, that’s the only thing I need. I have batters.”
Sheniqua Fahie of That’s Your Problem, was the winning pitcher and homered for her only hit in four at bats and had 4 RBIs. Tafara Phillip finished 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and a run batted in. Kimberly Johnson homered in three at bats scored a run and drove in two. Deja Adams of Hawks was 3 for 5. She scored three times, and had 4 runs batted in. Michelle Georges went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored.
“Man, this was frightening, too much tension,” TYP manager Allen “Woodrow” Smith said of the series his team won 3-1. “But, that’s how it should be that you don’t get anything too easy in a championship—championships should be competitive and a lot of pressure and intense like that—that’ what you want to see in a championship game. All in all, it was a good game and we managed to stay on top.”
In the men’s game, Sheldon John hit a solo homer in the first and Power Outage went on the sweep the A’s with a 10-6 victory. John finished 3 for 4. Jeremy Penn picked up the win and the loser was Neville Smith. Penn who opened at second base then relieved Dariel Robinson, helped his cause by going 2 for 3 with a double, 2 runs scored and 2 RIB’s. Khoy Frett was 2 for 4 scored once and drove in one. Rayandre Mercer and Michael Cline of A’s scored 2 runs each.
In the Virgin Islands Volleyball Association Power League, the Gunz won the men’s division, Super Spikers the Women’s A Division and Crush Dem, secured the B Division crown.
The BVI Football Association 2017 season was wiped out by Hurricane Irma. Irma came just after a new pitch had been put in place in Long Look, displacing part of the turf and destroying the goal posts.