Coach credits defensive wisdom for Calabar’s dominant season

March 01, 2024
Ludlow Barker
Ludlow Barker

Calabar became the toast of Jamaica's Under-16 basketball programme after they followed up their urban area championship by winning the All-Island title.

Calabar had a dominant defensive second-half display en route to an 80-62 victory over Manchester in the season's finale, and assistant coach Ludlow Barker contends that defensive adjustments were the crucial components to their victory.

"Up to halftime, the scores were tied, but we made adjustments, and it paid off as we stopped giving them open shots and second-chance opportunities while we finished on our offensive end.

"When we did that, it forced them to speed up their game and try and play catch up, and we didn't give them the space to do that or more opportunities like that in the first half, so that contributed to us finishing by that wide margin in the end," Barker explained.

Barker added that throughout the season, Calabar's defence became a hallmark in their style of play, which the coaching staff in the final of the All-Island clash reminded the players about.

He suggested that having defeated St George's College, Campion College and Manchester in the season, each player had to be mentally ready on the defensive end of the court, which carried them over the line.

"We pride ourselves in playing good defence as we (coaches) put the onus on the young men to step up and do what they've been doing all year and season to get to this point," Barker said.

Calabar are set to lose most of their core players, but coach Barker suggested that he isn't perturbed, as the coaching staff and management pride themselves in getting raw talent to develop and excel at this level.

"We still have maybe three or four players, but we aren't worried about that. We're always building and looking to train and develop young players. We go through the process, get them ready, and whoever is in front of us and ready to make the team, allow them to represent us each year," he stated.

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