Players compete in the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s 2014 Bunny Levarity Basketball Tournament at the AF Adderley Gymnasium last night. South Andros won the opener of their best-of-3 series against Bimini 88-86 in overtime. In the ladies’ matchup, the Career Builders Lady Cheetahs won 59-56 over Grand Bahama.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
South Andros won the opener of the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s 2014 Bunny Levarity Basketball Tournament at the AF Adderley Gymnasium last night. But Bimini gave them all they could handle.
In a men’s match-up that went right down to the wire, South Andros squeezed out a 88-86 overtime victory as Aaron Rolle and Leonardo Lightbourne scored 18 and 15 points respectively. In a losing effort, Jonathon Edgecombe had a game high 33 points and Kaane Pritchard added nine.
“I was impressed with the opening game, but I think it’s a game we should have won a long time ago,” said South Andros’ coach Brian Cleare. “The auditorium is very hot and we’re not used to this type of atmosphere.
“So fatigue started to set in, especially in the overtime period, but I told the guys we have to get through this. They were complaining about the heat in the gym. But I feel good about our first game. It’s always good to get the first win under your belt.”
In the match-up that brought the return of the B division for teams that the BBF feels are not on par to compete with the A divisional teams, South Andros led 40-37 at the half, but they watched as Bimini managed to rally back to tie the score 74-74 at the end of regulation.
The game was played just before the ladies’ match-up between the only two teams participating in the tournament. In that game, the first of a three-game series, the Career Builders Lady Cheetahs won 59-56 over Grand Bahama.
The nightcap was a showdown between the Commonwealth Bank Giants and the Grand Bahama Shipyard Cruisers but no scores were available up to press time last night.
The tournament is slated to continue 5pm today with the Grand Bahama Reach Out Ministries taking on Bimini. Later in the night, the Lady Cheetahs will play Grand Bahama in game two before the feature contest will see the Giants take on the Harbour Island Panthers from Eleuthera.
A series of games will be played on Saturday, starting at noon and ending up with the championship game.
Federation president Charlie ‘Softly’ Robins said he’s glad to see an increase in the teams participating this year with four senior teams (A division), four juniors (B division) and two ladies’ teams.
“The ladies are doing quite well and I do hope that the encouragement they get, will enable more ladies to come on board next year,” Robins said. “We need to get more ladies involved, but we have two good teams playing this year, so we will have to go with that.”
As for the men’s division, Robins said they are delighted to bring back the B division, which will enable teams from Bimini, Andros, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama to get to compete against their peers.
“Hopefully by participating in this division, it will help them to get to the next level,” he said.
While here, Robins said he intends to meet with Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fritzgerald with the view of trying to establish a national high school basketball tournament for junior and senior boys and girls.
“We need to start from young and come straight up,” he said.