Rising Stars A win title in sudden death

The 2017/18 Cayman Islands Netball Association (CINA) League climaxed with an intense championship match on 17 March between All Stars A and Rising Stars A that ended in sudden death at the John Gray High School Gymnasium.

The match-up pitted the top two teams in the league in recent years, with All Stars A seeking to retain their title against familiar rivals.

From the opening whistle, it was a close contest. The champs held an 11-9 lead after the first quarter but their challengers rallied with a strong second quarter to take a 26-17 lead at the half. Rising Stars A maintained their lead after three quarters, clinging to a 36-31 advantage.

The intensity jumped up a notch with all to play for in the fourth quarter. All Stars A pulled level 44-44 with 4:46 left on the clock and it was clear there would be a battle to the finish.

An energetic crowd spurred on the players into the final minute of regulation, with Rising Stars going up a point with 44 seconds left but All Stars dug deep and tied the game with 11 seconds remaining and it was on to overtime.

All Stars took a one-point lead (53-52) just as time was expiring in the first OT period, sparking momentary celebrations. But there was still the second frame of overtime still to be played. It continued to be a see-saw battle, that saw the period end with a last-second shot to keep it tied 57-57.

It was then on to sudden death, with the first team to score winning the coveted shield. Rising Stars goal attack Rosemarie Wilson with the ball in her hands. “You have to make it, Rose. You have one shot. That’s it. This is our game,” she recalled telling herself before sinking the winning shot to end the game at 58-57.

She summed up the game in a brief interview with CaymanSportsBuzz.com: “It was intense. It was awesome. It was great. Both teams went in with a fight and I believe that both teams did an awesome job, we all did well on the court.”

Wilson, who was named player of the final, added: “I think we all exceeded expectations but at the end of the day, the best team wins. Whether it’s a one-point goal difference or not, we still won. I believe we deserved it.”

Earlier, Unity defeated Queens 34-30 to win the Plate Final, with Medeana Mendez of Queens being named player of the game.

In awards presented at the end of the evening:

Players of the Season

Attack: Suzette Whyte (Queens) and Marcia Moiten (Rising Stars B)

Midcourt: Lucy McLaughlin (Queens)

Defence: Michelle Bailey (Socialites)


Most Accurate Shooters

1st: Kay Copeland (All Stars) 84%

2nd: Cerene Wallace (Diamonds) 77%

3rd: Rosemarie Wilson (Rising Stars A) 76%


*More photos to be added on our Facebook page.

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