By RENALDO DORSETT
The 30th Father Marcian Peters tournament featured a resurgence for Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) teams as they claimed three of the five contested divisions.
In the tournament finale, the Queen’s College Comets highlighted the evening with a nail-biting 21-19 win over the CI Gibson Rattlers in the intermediate boys’ division. Javaughn Ferguson made the game winning jumper from the free throw line with just three seconds left to play to lift the Comets to the tournament title.
Ferguson finished with eight points and nine rebounds, none bigger than the final jumper, which came on an assist from Rumado Ellis.
Ellis finished with eight points, four steals and two assists while Ellison Greenslade added four points.
The Comets, which fielded just six players over the course of the gruelling week long tournament, defeated the CC Sweeting Cobras, RM Bailey Pacers, CV Bethel Stingrays and Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins en route to the title.
In the tightly contested junior boys’ division, each of the teams in the championship round played six games each on the final day.
In the end, the Aquinas Aces topped the DW Davis Royals, 38-29, to win the title.
With the Royals making a late run and trimming the deficit to four, Chad Smith grabbed an offensive rebound off a free throw and made the putback to give his team a six-point lead with just over a minute left to play.
The Aces led early, 6-0, but DW Davis rebounded in the second to take a 10-6 lead at the half.
In the second, the Aces opened with a 4-0 run to tie it at 10 but the Royals took a 16-13 lead into the third. They were tied once again at 18 early into the third quarter before the Aces took the lead for good and a 26-22 margin headed into the fourth. Lynden Gibson scored a team high eight points for the Aces, John Nixon added seven.
In the primary boys’ division, the Temple Christian Suns repeated as champions with a 26-24 win over the Catholic School League champions St Cecilia Strikers.
Tied at six early in the game, the teams jostled for an advantage until they were tied again at 14 late in the third quarter. The Suns took an 18-15 lead into the fourth, but the Strikers scored the first four points to take the lead in the fourth.
Trailing by three, St Cecilia’s Dylan Comarcho scored a three-point play to tie the game at 22 with 1:51 left to play. The Suns made free throws down the stretch to seal back-to-back titles.
Traditional powerhouses and defending champions reclaimed their titles in the girls’ divisions.
In the junior girls’ division, there was a repeat of the 2013 championship game and again the Harbour Island All Age School topped the HO Nash Lions, 26-12.
Harbour Island opened the game with a score off the tip and opened a 7-0 lead. They Led 9-2 after the first quarter, 17-3 at the half and 24-9 into the fourth.
In the senior girls’ division, the CR Walker Knights repeated as champions with a win over the Jordan Prince William Falcons.
In the primary girls’ division, Freedom Baptist topped Carlton Francis 18-12. Freedom Baptist opened up a 6-0 lead after the first quarter and led 8-0 before the Rockets scored their first point of the game.
Carlton Francis eventually trimmed the lead to 12-11, in the fourth quarter but they ended the game on a 6-1 run.
The premier junior basketball tournament in the country concluded this weekend after a hectic weeklong schedule.
The tournament featured scores of teams from the primary girls and boys, junior girls and boys, intermediate boys and senior girls.
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s staff, headed by tournament director Michael ‘Scooter’ Reid, facilitated the tournament.
Father Marcian Peters, who passed away in 1981, was known as a national sporting icon for his contributions to basketball and softball as tools of social development. Today the tournament stands as the largest and most popular inter-school basketball event.