USVI claim Gold in men’s Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships

By: BVI Platinum

USVI takes the trophy at the Men's 2015 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships. Photo: Caribbean Basketball Confederation

USVI takes the trophy at the Men’s 2015 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships. Photo: Caribbean Basketball Confederation

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) leaned heavily on Khalid Hart who finished with 25 points to topple Bahamas, 71-65, and claim gold in the finals of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) tournament for men last evening, June 21.

Bahamas settled for silver.

Hart shot 9 for 15 from the floor, sinking 5 three-pointers spread over the entire game at critical times when the USVI offense appeared stagnated.

Both teams entered the encounter unbeaten 5-0 in the preliminary group games and proved repeatedly why they were the better teams throughout the tournament. Bahamas was seeking to become the first team to sweep the men and women tournaments since Puerto Rico in 2007.

Bahamas opened the final quarter leading 56-55, but the USVI seized the lead when Hart stroked a 2-pointer at the 8:49 mark. The USVI lead peaked at 6 points, 62-56 when point guard Angel Rivera was able to weave his way to the basket for a two-pointer.

However, Bahamas would not go away without a fight and drew within a point of the USVI, 64-63, when Kadeem Coleby hit two freebies with 2:45 remaining. In the closing minutes, Bahamas had chances, but Leon Cooper committed critical turnovers – a travel violation and offensive foul – all within the final 40 seconds.

Magnun Rolle missed a three-pointer that would have cut the USVI lead to a point with 4 ticks on the game clock. Time expired shortly after Cuthbert Victor hit two free throws to seal the gold medal win for the USVI.

Ivan Aska, the tournament’s most valuable player, added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Craig Williams Jr. 10 points for the USVI. Kentwan Smith led the scoring for Bahamas with 16 points.

In the bronze medal game, the BVI fell to Antigua and Barbuda, 82-73. This means that USVI, Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda will move on to play in Centrobasket.