St Vincent storm back to win 13th Under-23 title
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – St Vincent and the Grenadines stormed back from a shaky start to beat perennial rivals St Kitts and capture their 13th ECCB OECS Under-23 title in the championship which wrapped up here Wednesday night.
The Vincentians who struggled in the first two quarters rebounded in the third to clinch victory by five goals and prevailed with a 47-42 scoreline at the Tanteen Netball Court.
The Kittitians appeared to be on course for a successful championship title defence when they led St. Vincent by four points at the end of the first and second quarters.
However, SVG disrupted St. Kitts’ advance by stepping up their game in the third quarter shutting down efficient goal shoot Ronelle Morton.
“We ensured that we cut off all long passes going to the Kittitian goal shooter. We enforced the plan of cutting them off early,” said Godfrey Harry, coach of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“The plan was to either cut them off from the mid-court or by our actual goalkeeper who kept switching on the inside or outside of her (Morton) to collect those passes that came in. That was done.”
The Kittitian goal shoot Morton, who scored a game-high 39 goals, was voted the most accurate shooter in the six-day tournament.
Goal attack Marian Frederick scored 30 for St Vincent who trailed 11 to 15 and 23 to 27 in the first and second quarters before recapturing the momentum to lead 36-34 at the end of the third quarter.
“The turnaround was just a matter of enforcing to the girls that we need to execute what we were talking about and pressuring them to get it done,” Harry told CMC Sports.
“They were saying to themselves that they are not going to get it done unless they win this tournament. So they realize the only how they can do it is by putting what we asked them to put into effect.”
St Vincent won all their six matches to top the table on 12 points while St. Kitts ended the tournament in second place on 10 points.
Host country and former champions Grenada finished third on seven points after losing two games and drawing a third.
Grenada’s Christa Stephens was awarded player of the tournament.
In the other games played on Wednesday night, Dominica defeated Montserrat 80-15 while Grenada and St Lucia tied 45-45.