Coach lauds gritty JC after U19 basketball triumph
Following Jamaica College’s (JC) stunning comeback to win the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Under-19 urban area basketball championship, Coach Duane Cunningham says he has great hopes for the Old Hope Road-based team.
He pointed to the mental fortitude his players showed on their way to glory.
JC defeated Wolmer’s Boys’ 69-63 in the third game of the best-of-three series at the Mico University College last Friday to lift the title for the first time in 15 years.
Wolmer’s won the first game 56-44 on January 18 before JC levelled the series with a come-from-behind 57-56 win five days later to force the deciding game.
“For a long time, we haven’t won. And everybody wants to win. It’s a great feeling to bring it home for the college. We stuck through it, we put in the work, and now we’ve been rewarded,” Cunningham told the
“They [the players] showed a lot of grit. They showed a lot of determination because they were really down, and the average person would have given up. But they didn’t. They believed in themselves. They showed a level of unity and togetherness,” he said.
Cunningham stated he was most impressed by his team’s performance in the second game, when they rallied from a 21-point hole to win and tie the series.
“The second game, we were down 21 points in the third quarter. As a matter of fact, with three minutes left in the third quarter, we were down 50 to 30. And, you know, they didn’t give up. They stuck to the plan and kept hammering on the end until we got the victory.
“That was the hardest one. That was harder than the last game because we just needed to know — the boys needed to know that they could beat them. They just needed to know and believe in themselves that they could do it,” Cunningham explained.
JC will continue on the road to their destiny when they take on Kingston College in the first round of the all-island championship, which gets under way today.
“We haven’t played them all year. But we know they’re a well-coached team and a very good team, so we’re not taking anything for granted. And we know everybody wants to beat us now, so we’re not taking anything for granted. We’re going in there, and we’ll go and come out as hard as we can,” Cunningham said.