Bermuda fell short in their quest for redemption as they lost again to the crafty Wildcats 88 – 68 as the 15th Annual Niagara College Basketball Tournament in Canada came to an end.
Bermuda began the game demonstrating offensive composure by slowing the pace and taking high percentage shots. Defensively they played with heart and limited the Wildcats early offense.
The adjustments Bermuda made seemed to paying off and through the majority of the first half neither team led by more than 5 points.
Nevertheless, fitness, the Achilles heel for the Bermuda squad proved to be their down fall once again.
In the final five minutes, the Wildcats stretched their five point lead to eighteen by hitting 3 after 3. At halftime the score was 42 – 24, Wildcats on top.
Bermuda came out the second half showing no signs of quit as they battled for every loose ball and rebound. Playing on pure pride, they cut the deficit to 12.
However, foul trouble caused coach Gavin to sit a few key players. Halfway through the second half Wildcats lead ballooned to thirty points.
Bermuda fought back with full court pressure defense which caused a few quick turnovers that turned into points.
Co-Captains Jason Lowe and Chris Crumpler led them offensively stroking shots from deep and attacking the basket with ferocity, unfortunately Lowe fouled out with just over 5 minutes left.
Bermuda continued to push forward offensively but the Wildcats matched every run with offense of their own.
Lowe was the team’s top scorer with 19 points, Crumpler scored 18 points, Alex Butterfield added 12 points and Zavante Garnett chipped in with 8 points all in the final 4 minutes of the game.
Head Coach Gavin McKenzie said, “This tournament served as a measuring stick for us. We know what we have to do to be ready for the Fiba Pre-Americas Cup tournament June 25th – July 1st. We will make the adjustments, get in shape and be ready to re-establish our tradition of winning basketball.”