HOTSHOTS gave another inspiring performance on Saturday at Victoria Gymnasium to complete a week of celebration for Anse Boileau-based basketball teams.
After Drifters earned promotion to the men’s top flight with a mid-week 57-39 win over Beau Vallon Heat, finishing as second division winners, HotShots successfully defended the women’s league crown with a 17-point margin – 77-60 – victory over former champions Anse Etoile Stars.
This is their third championship win in a row, bringing to five their number of triumphs after wresting the title from Stars’ grasps in 2008. Their past title wins came in 1998, 2002, 2008 and 2009.
After being outscored 32-16 and 13-12 in the first two quarters to trail by 6 points – 28-34 – at the half, HotShots went on the rampage in the second period, scoring 49 points and restricting the Stars to just 26.
Saturday’s win is a repeat of last year’s decider against the same Stars whom they brushed aside 66-55.
Like against Mont Fleuri the previous weekend when they trailed 28-34 at half-time before going on to win 76-59, HotShots continued to compile big numbers with forward Myra Solin and Beguitta Fontaine scored 18 points apiece.
Fontaine was on fire from beyond 3-point range with four shots, while veteran Jenita Toussaint added another trey to finish with 11 points.
Coming off the bench like against Mont Fleuri, centre Tina Agathine made a 12-point contribution as HotShots’ starters outscored that of Stars 58-51.
Coach Philip Arissol wasn’t happy with all his players individually but said that the championship win is important.
“The players, especially the younger ones, have persevered even though they lost by big margins in the past against Stars and Bel Air,” he said.
“Now is our time,” added coach Arissol, who noted that achieving a second league and cup double in a row would be the icing on the cake.
“This is our aim for the season and it would be nice to do it once again,” added coach Arissol.
This was HotShots’ ninth league win in 10 games to finish atop the six-team standings with 19 points from a possible 20. Only Mont Fleuri dared challenge the champions with a 60-66 overtime first-round win.
Mont Fleuri, who play their last match against RA Sisters tomorrow, are second on 16 points (seven wins and two losses). Anse Etoile Stars are third with 15 points (six wins and three losses) and they play their last league match on Saturday against Cadettes.
Meanwhile, Drifters have won the men’s second division league with 25 points after 11 wins and three defeats in 14 games.
Praslin Warriors have finished as runners-up with 23 points, the same total as third placed Juniors.