The Central High Lady Caribs celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their school’s Invitational Basketball Tournament with a hard fought, 46-43, victory over archrival, Charlotte Amalie Lady Chicken Hawks, at the Ronald Charles Gymnasium on Sunday. The see-saw battle went down to the wire, with several lead changes in the waning moments of the game. Led by eight fourth quarter points from J’lene Martinez, the Caribs were able to prevail in front of their huge contingent of vociferous fans.
The Lady Hawks, led by seven points from Merrisa Murphy, got off to a fast start and were able to outscore the home team 16-7 to lead after one quarter. An eight point second quarter by Central’s Martinez got the Lady Caribs back into the game, as they were able to hold the Lady Hawks to five points while scoring 10 to trail by four at intermission at 21-17.
Kadesha Barry had the hot hand for the Lady Caribs in the third quarter, scoring six of her squad’s 13 points, and leading her team to a 13-11 period that saw them trailing by just two, at 32-30, going into the fourth and final quarter. Eddidiong Utibe also scored six points in the period to keep the Lady Hawks ahead.
The fourth period was like a slugfest between two prize fighters with neither giving an inch. The lead would switch hands almost on every alternating possession. The Lady Hawks opened a five point lead at one point, but the Lady Caribs took the lead with a huge three-pointer from Martinez and stormed right back to tie. They went on to outscore the Hawks 16-11 in the fourth to win the tournament by a final score of 46-43.
Both teams played well enough to win, but hitting just five out of 14 free throw attempts down the stretch proved a bit too much for the Lady Hawks to overcome.
Martinez led all scorers with a game high 22 points, and was well supported by teammate Barry, who netted 15 points for the champs. The Lady Hawks were led by Murphy and Utibe, who both finished with 11 points apiece.