The girls of St Catherine’s Academy enjoyed their first victory in basketball at the XVII Central American Junior Scholastic (CODICADER) Games hosted by Guatemala in Quetzaltenango, Mazatenango and Retalhuleu on Wednesday, September 5. It was historical in that it was the first time a Belize team had won in female basketball since Belize began participating in CODICADER in 2007, coincidentally also hosted then by Guatemala.
The SCA girls triumphed over the girls of Honduras’ Luis Landa de Nacaome Institute 64-51 at the Quetzaltenango Sports Complex. Dejeanne Norales hit two long 3-pointers as she scored 17 pts for SCA to lead 18-16 in the first quarter. Kursha Pollard also hit a 3-pointer as she added 15 pts, but the Honduras girls responded to tie the game 26-26 at intermission.
Gilda Estrada followed suite with a 3-pointer to score 12 pts and Genae Samuels also hit two 3-pointers as she scored 10 pts and the SCA seized a 44-38 lead by the end of the third quarter. Kafira Gill added 4 pts and Ann Ma, Breanna Meighan and Chelsi Norales added a basket each as they romped to their 64-51 win at the final buzzer.
SCA fell short of a bronze medal when they lost to the girls of Costa Rica’s Colegio Seminario 36-67 in the consolation match for third place on Friday. Dejeanne Norales hit a 3-pointer as she scored 6 pts and snatched 11 rebounds, but Costa Rica led 24-9 in the first quarter. Kursha Pollard added 8 pts, and Genae Samuels also hit a 3-pointer as she scored 7 pts, but Shannon Mora’s 15 pts, Maria Rojas’ 12 pts and Yosely Porras’ 10 pts extended Costa Rica’s lead to 44-20 at intermission.
Gilda Estrada followed suite with a 3-pointer to score 7 pts, Ann Ma added 6 pts, but the Ticas’ lead grew to 56-32 by the end of the third quarter, and they romped to a 67-36 win at the final buzzer.
Belize had done no better against El Salvador on Thursday. Gilda Estrada led with 14 pts, Dejeanne Norales and Genae Samuels added 8 pts each, but El Salvador led 32-7 in the first quarter. Kursha Pollard fouled out in the first quarter, and with Hillary Martinez’s 18 pts, and 11 pts each from four of her teammates, El Salvador’s lead ballooned to 53-17 by intermission. Breanna Meighan and Kafira Gill scored a basket each, but El Salvador led 67-26 in the third quarter and won 87-35 at the final buzzer
SCA had also lost their opening game 37-66 to Costa Rica on Tuesday. It was a cold day in Quetzaltenango and the SCA girls came into the game cold; Breanna Meighan had opened the scoreboard for Belize with two baskets for 4 pts, but the Costa Ricans soon led 21-6 by the end of the first quarter. Kursha Pollard led SCA with 11 pts, but the Ticas’ lead ballooned to 44-10 by intermission.
Gilda Estrada scored six points mostly from the charity stripe while Ann Ma drove to the rim to score six points and Genae Samuels added five points, but the Ticas led 61-25 by the end of the third quarter. Dejeanne Norales had scored a single 3-pointer in the loss.