Basketball team celebrate three-peat
Bermuda 61 Saaremaa 38
Bermuda successfully defended their Island Games basketball crown with a comfortable win over Saaremaa at the Bermuda College gymnasium to complete a memorable three-peat.
The side led from start to finish and used a second quarter surge to propel themselves to a lead they would never relinquish against the same side they beat for gold two years ago.
“It was a tough game, we knew they could play but we also knew that we could get the job done if we stuck to what we know,” said Chris Crumpler.
“We played with a lot of heart, set the tone early and that was good enough to get us the win. The second quarter was our best quarter all week and what a time to have it, I have to tip my hat off to my team-mates.
“We are excited to get this gold medal on home soil.”
The pair played two previous exhibition games this week, with Bermuda winning both in close fashion, a 58-51 win followed by a 67-62 win at the same venue.
This time around, however, a 13 to two run in the second quarter saw the hosts go to the half with a 32-19 lead.
Sullivan Phillips and Dean Jones went about fortifying the lead by pounding the ball into the basket at regular intervals, while also relying on the perimeter shooters to knock down their shots when called upon.
The visitors managed to get within 11 midway through the third quarter with a 7-0 run, but any thoughts of a comeback where quickly put to bed when both Crumpler and Jason Simons hit three that were ultimately the final nails in the Saaremaa coffin.
Pointing to the Island’s loss to Menorca in 2007 in the gold medal game, Crumpler was ecstatic with the three-peat, calling it a “bow tie” in many of the players careers.
Bermuda redeemed their 2007 loss with a win over Menorca in 2009, won gold over Saaremaa two years ago, and backed it up with a win last night.
“It started in 2007 when we lost the gold medal to Menorca and ever since then we have been hungry for the gold medal and now with the three peat potential on home soil, we didn’t want to disappoint our loyal fans at home.
“We gave a hard, honest effort, and I hope the fans are proud and we can celebrate.
“This is a bow tie to my career as well a few of the senior guys and I’m just happy to be able to have this experience.”