It was an emotional night for Calabar High School’s coach, Ludlow Barker, after watching his team hold off Ardenne High to win back-to-back Under-19 ISSA National Basketball Championship titles, following a 62-52 overtime win at the G.C. Foster College auditorium on Tuesday evening.Led by a game-high 28 points from MVP Maliek McCarthy and 13 points from Jevaun Faulder, Calabar High shrugged off a fourth-quarter surge from the Basil Barrett-coached Ardenne before going on to dominate overtime 12-4.Justin Rhoden was Ardenne’s top scorer with 15 points.However, in his post-match interview, Calabar High’s coach, Barker, could not restrain the tears as emotions overwhelmed him while he piled praises on his players for their sacrifice on the road to winning back-to-back Southern Conference and national championship honours.”I know these players,” said a tearful Barker. “When they commit to do the work, they come up trumps. I believe in them; they believe in me. I just love these players. I love coaching the school because they have heart and soul.TOP COACH, PLAYERS”They (players) say they have a top coach, but I say I have top players – the greatest players in the world – and I’d never exchange them for anything,” he stated.”Winning back-to-back South Conference titles was going to be tough, but winning back-to-back all-island was going to be harder. We had to have a lot of self-discipline and play good defence.”After an evenly contested first quarter (12-12), Calabar High captured the second period 11-7 to lead 23-19 at half-time. They continued to hold the ascendancy after taking the third quarter 17-14, but in the final quarter, Ardenne upped their game a couple of notches and Calabar High could find no answer as the Basil Barrett-coached team were hitting shots from all angles and range. In the final analysis, Ardenne High won the period 15-8 to be tied 48-48 at the final whistle.However, in overtime, Ardenne did not know what hit them as Calabar High came out firing and easily captured the period 12-4 for a convincing win.”My team held its nerve when it went to overtime. They were still feeling good about themselves even though they gave up the lead,” Barker admitted. “We didn’t lose concentration. We stuck to the game plan and we supported each other, and defensively, we did an excellent job. So to repeat at this level is quite a joy.”In the junior final, St George’s College avenged their Southern Conference final defeat to St Catherine High with a 54-47 win.Jordon Gilles with 17 points and Nathan Reid (10 points) were the top scorers for St George’s. Shevran Williams was St Catherine’s top scorer with 13 points.
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has established a charity fund to assist Caribbean islands ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.JHTA President, Omar Robinson, made the disclosure while addressing stakeholders attending the 27th annual Jamaica Product Exchange at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, recently.He said the entity has kick-started the support with a US$10,000 contribution.“Our hearts go out to our neighbours as they struggle to recover and rebuild. To assist in this effort, the JHTA has set up a hurricane relief fund for our sister Caribbean islands that have been devastated. It is called the JHTA Charity Fund, and we encourage you to contribute,” he urged.Mr. Robinson implored the delegates, which include buyers and suppliers in the hospitality sector, to consider seriously the whole question of climate change, which has been affecting weather patterns in countries all over the world.“It is certainly in the interest of all of us involved with tourism and travel in this region to do our part in ensuring that climate change is kept on the global development agenda. All of us need to become better equipped to withstand the changes in weather patterns. As travel partners, we are all in this thing together,” he noted.Meanwhile, Mr. Robinson said the JHTA is happy about the establishment of the Ministry of Tourism’s Destination Assurance Council, noting that this will now ensure that the highest international standards are maintained in the sector.The Council, launched earlier this year, will work to ensure that the quality, standards and integrity of the tourism product are upheld.The body is comprised of persons with appropriate skills to ensure the sustainable management of the resort areas, and will play a key role in sustaining brand Jamaica and delivering a quality experience to visitors. Story Highlights The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has established a charity fund to assist Caribbean islands ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Mr. Robinson implored the delegates, which include buyers and suppliers in the hospitality sector, to consider seriously the whole question of climate change, which has been affecting weather patterns in countries all over the world. JHTA President, Omar Robinson, made the disclosure while addressing stakeholders attending the 27th annual Jamaica Product Exchange at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, recently.