Marian Academy was crowned the National Schools Basketball Festival (NSBF) U20 champions when they edged Kwakwani Secondary 54-53 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Homestretch Avenue on Sunday.
In the Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) final which went right down to the wire, the Ruel Ritch-coached Marian Academy side proved the doubters wrong as they showed that organization with a collective purpose can defeat natural talent.
Shooting guard Dale Beresford led the Carifesta Avenue offence with 17 points and five rebounds. He was assisted by Tequain Vieira who chipped in with a crucial effort of 10 points and nine rebounds.
Leonard Primo’s figures of 15 points, 27 rebounds, five steals and four assists could not save the Kwakwani side from eventual defeat. Orwin Samuels contributed 13 points and 17 rebounds in the loss.
In the U17 finals played earlier, Kwakwani Secondary led by a Kevin Gordon effort of 16 points and six rebounds were crowned the champions as they defeated New Amsterdam Multilateral School by a 57-40 score line. Neil Wills recorded figures of 16 points and 21 rebounds in a losing cause.
In the U17 presentation ceremony, the winner’s trophy and 12 gold medals were presented to the Kwakwani side while the second place trophy and 12 silver medals were awarded to New Amsterdam Multilateral School.
Neil Wills of New Amsterdam Multilateral School was adjudged to be the division’s most valuable player (MVP). He was also presented with the best defender award.
Completing the division’s individual awards were Nathan Howell of St. Roses High, Judah Stepheny of Marian Academy and Patrice Agrippa also of St. Roses who were presented with the awards for the leading scorer, most steals and most assists respectively.
On the U20 side, Marian Academy was presented with the winner’s trophy and 13 gold medals while Kwakwani Secondary collected the runner’s-up trophy and 13 silver medals.
Christianburg-Wismar Secondary’s Travin Dryden was adjudged the division’s most valuable player (MVP). Dryden also collected the leading scorer, most assists and most rebound accolades.
Dominic Vicente of eventual champions Marian Academy was rewarded with the best defender and most steals awards.
In the NSBF-Digicel Special Awards section, U17 runner-up New Amsterdam Multilateral School was adjudged to be best emerging team while the sixth man award was given to Shafeek Thomas of U20 runner-up Kwakwani Secondary.
Concluding this section, U20 champions Marian Academy won the best dressed team and best fan support awards.
In the Beharry and Company Limited Special Awards, Willon Cameron of U17 runner-up New Amsterdam Multilateral School was judged to be the coach of the year whilst Howell of St. Roses High was presented with the individual sportsmanship award.
Concluding the presentation, captain of the victorious U20 champions Vieira was rewarded with the senior class award while the Carifesta Avenue side collected the team sportsmanship award.