Big man Joshua O’Garro stuffed the stat sheet scoring 29 points while notching 16 rebounds, nine assists, and eight steals as the Cayman Islands National Under-18s defeated Port Arthur, Texas 89-81 in the finale of the inaugural Under-18 Cayman Basketball Festival held Saturday (20 July) at the John Gray Gymnasium.
This was the first loss for Port Arthur in the four game tournament that featured Under-18s from Cayman, Port Arthur and Bermuda. Captain Michael Hogg scored 26 points while grabbing seven rebounds, while the tournament’s Most Valuable Male Player Isaac Jackson Jr. scored 22 points and 11 rebounds.
“I thought we did a good job of making adjustments,” said Head Coach Duran Whittaker. “I think they had more strength than us, so we had to fix up a couple of things from the first game like boxing out.”
After losing point guard Kai Robinson to a leg injury on day one, Whittaker says guard Joanki Espinal filled in admirably, scoring a tournament-best 25 points in the win.
“We played really well when Kai went out,” said Whittaker. “All in all, I thought we did a good job clogging the lane. For the tournament, if we forced them to be a jump shooting team, we had a better chance. We needed one more person to step up and Joanki did a tremendous job.”
Earlier in the day, Port Arthur handed Bermuda their fourth consecutive loss winning 106-70.
Prior to the Boys finale, Port Arthur Under-18 Girls completed a sweep of the two-team, three game female tournament defeating Cayman’s National Under-18s for a third consecutive day in a 65-53 victory. Cayman’s best game was a 67-66 overtime loss Friday.
“The girls played their first international competition against an experienced Port Arthur team,” said Head Coach Cory McGee. “Cayman made every game exciting and very competitive, pushing a game to overtime. The future is looking very bright with our younger squad developing at a rapid pace.”
The tournament’s Most Valuable Female Player Kassandra Chavez scored 23 points while dishing five assists. In the loss, Cayman’s Oneissha Cayasso scored 19 points while grabbing eight rebounds.