Young Bajan Gems outclass rivals to lift Jean Pierre Caribbean Youth Netball Champs title

By Sports Desk April 11, 2024
The young Barbados Gems indicate their status. The young Barbados Gems indicate their status. Barbados Today

Barbados maintained their stranglehold of the Jean Pierre Caribbean Youth Netball Championships, as the island's Under-16 netballers secured a third-consecutive hold on the title after bettering Grenada in the finals at the Beausejour Indoor Facility in St Lucia, on Wednesday.

The young Gems, led by goalshooter and tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) Keanna Harte, outclassed their opponents 27-19 to again end the tournament with an unbeaten record intact.

Harte netted 19 of her 21 attempts, as goal-attack Tyesha Trotman scored seven of her 10 attempts, while Tyra Griffith had a solitary goal from three attempts. Grenada's effort was led by Keisha Mathurine who scored 17 goals from 22 attempts and goal-attack Reshonna Francis, who had two goals from three attempts.

Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and hosts St Lucia were the other participating countries.

To stamp their dominance, the Baby Gems also took home the majority of awards on offer. They won prizes for best uniform, most disciplined team, best spirited team, best goal average and best defending team, and placed second in the shooting competition.

Harte along with Deeya Forde-Haynes, Chelsea Best, Trotman and Griffith were also named in the top 16 players of the tournament.

President of the Barbados Netball Association, Dr Carmeta Douglin was full of praise for the team. She said the impressive showing by the Cameron Greenidge-coached team was as a result of hard work and dedication by the juniors.

“A big congratulations to our Baby Bajan Gems who have done extremely well once again at the Jean Pierre Caribbean Netball tournament. They have dominated this tournament for the last three years winning every game that they played and this year in St Lucia they were victorious in every game in the preliminary round, in the knockout and now they are the champions once again, so congratulations to the entire team," she told Barbados TODAY

“They usually start very slow in the first and second quarters, but they built the momentum and by the third quarter they really outplayed everyone. They also captured a number of different awards, and we would like to congratulate every player,” Douglin added.

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