SCA girls win National Basketball Xhampionship

The girls of St Catherine’s Academy successfully defended their national title to repeat as national high schools basketball champions in the tournament organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association and hosted by Independence High School at the new IHS auditorium on Friday and Saturday, December 14-15.
SCA’s most valuable player, Gilda Estrada, scored 14 pts as she led her team to a 23-21 victory over the southern regional champions, the girls of Delille Academy of Dangriga, in the championship finals on Saturday afternoon. With Indie Dixon scoring two jump shots and a free throw for five points, the SCA girls led 11-3 in the first quarter.
Shayana Caliz led the Delille Academy girls with seven points, but SCA led 13-7 at intermission, and with baskets from Halle Spence and Balika Meighan, SCA continued to lead 17-11 at the end of the third quarter. The Delille Academy out-scored SCA 10-6 in the fourth quarter; as Moesha Enriquez added eight points and Naomi Gamboa and Melanie Castillo scored a basket each to tie the score 21-21. Gilda Estrada scored the winning basket for SCA: 23-21.
The St Catherine’s girls had romped to a 31-22 victory over the Western regional champions, the girls of Belmopan Comprehensive School, in the opening game of the tournament on Friday evening. Jada Jones scored SCA’s first basket and Gilda Estrada led the attack with 15 pts, as SCA led 8-5 in the first quarter and 10-7 at intermission.
Nya Lewis and A. Gonzalez scored eight points each for Belmopan and B. Gillett added six more, but they still trailed 13-19 at the end of the third quarter. Indie Dixon scored nine points for St Catherine’s, and Halle Spence added a basket; while team captain Chelsi Noralez chipped in three points for their 31-22 win.
The Delille Academy girls qualified to the finals by a 22-12 win over the Northern regional champions, the girls of New Hope High School of Orange Walk Town in the second game on Friday night.
Sheyanna Caliz led the Delille attacks with 13 pts as they led 11-4 in the first quarter and 17-6 at intermission. Danielle Reneau scored 11 pts for New Hope and Emma Doherty added a free throw. But Moesha Enriquez scored six points for Delille to lead 19-8 at the end of the third quarter, and Naomi Gamboa scored three points for their 22-12 victory.
The New Hope girls almost won the consolation game for third place, only to have Belmopan wrest the victory away from them 16-14. A. Gonzalez and Nya Lewis each scored eight points, and the Belmopan girls were up 10- 8 in the first quarter and 12-8 at intermission. Danielle Reneau scored six pints for New Hope and Emma Doherty scored seven, sinking a long 3-pointer to give the Orange Walk girls a 14-12 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter. The Sugar City girls’ defense allowed Nya Lewis to get away and tie the score 14-14, and Gonzalez stole the ball from Doherty and scored the winning basket in the fourth quarter.
The Independence High School principal, Omar Longsworth, presented team trophies and individual medals to the champions, second and third place winners, as well as the Northern Division championship trophy to the New Hope girls. The Most Valuable Player award went to St Catherine’s Gilda Estrada who had scored a total of 29 pts.

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