Just 24 hours after beating Defence Force in game 1 of a series of scrimmages, the national under 17 basketballers found the going tough against a Combined Select team at the Maloney Indoor facility, as they fell 46-30 to the more experienced players. The Combined team, with veteran national player Kielle Connelly, national netball star Samantha Wallace, who is also a national basketballer (although netball is her main focus) and national youth player Breanna Charles led from the start and never gave the national players a chance to take the lead.

Samantha Wallace assists Amariah Clyne after they collide on the court battling for a loose ball

The Combined team went into the half with an 18-14 lead. It proved that lightning doesn’t strike twice as there was no heroics from Game 1 hero Carrisa Ramdial, who scored just 11 points, all coming in the first 2 quarters. Kielle Connelly, who made history by being part of this country’s first-ever 3×3 team at the recent AmeriCup, lead all scorers with 13 points, while Breanna Charles scored 12 for the Combined team.

Speaking after the game, an impressed Connelly, who played against her daughter Alyssa during the game heaped praises on the young national players. “With a little more work and consistency”, explains Connelly, “and hopefully NBFTT (National Basketball Federation of Trinidad and Tobago) keeps this team together, we have a great future. I loved the challenged they gave us today”.

Connelly is looking forward to getting into the action again for the national team for assignments in 2022.

The national under 17 team will close off 2021 with the final scrimmage against Police on Thursday at the same venue.

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