By RENALDO DORSETT
AFTER scores of games played over the course of the week-long tournament, the 31st edition of the Father Marcian Peters basketball tournament closed out Saturday afternoon with a slate of new winners in each of the six divisions.
The Woodcock Hurricanes (Primary Girls), Kingsway Academy Saints (Primary Boys), SC McPherson Sharks (Junior Girls), Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins (Junior Boys), Harbour Island Cougars (Senior Girls) and CC Sweeting Cobras (Intermediate Boys) emerged as champions in their respective divisions as the tournament returned to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s schedule.
Championship day featured several close finishes, with the six games decided by an average margin of 3.8 points per game.
In the Primary Girls’ championship, a duel between the top two scorers in the division all tournament long saw the Hurricanes complete a come- from-behind effort late in the second half to take a 24-21 win over the St Cecilia’s Strikers.
Woodcock’s Adera Hamilton was named MVP and scored a game high 15 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Raynell Young scored 13 to lead the Strikers while Brianna Young scored the other eight.
Tied at 8 at the half, the Hurricanes won the third quarter 9-4 to take control for good and Hamilton’s six points in the fourth secured the win and withstood a late charge from the Strikers.
The Primary Boys division featured another close finish as the Saints got a late score on a putback from Leonardo Burrows for a 19-18 win over the Harbour Island Cougars.
Burrows scored six and teammate Tony Simmons finished with a team high nine to lead the Saints. Bryon Bullard led the Cougars with 12 points.
Simmons scored the first two field goals of the game as the teams tied at four at the end of the first and six at halftime. They took a nine all tie into the fourth quarter, setting the stage
Bullard was unstoppable in the final period when he scored seven of his 12 points, including a three point play that put Harbour Island ahead 18-15 with 47 seconds left to play. On the ensuing possession, Simmons drove baseline to score but was unable to convert the three point play when he missed the go ahead free throw. Burrows was there to grab the offensive rebound and score the putback.
The Junior Girls championship featured more late game heroics.
Michelle Butler’s jumper from the free throw line as time expired lifted the Sharks to a 14-12 win over the HO Nash Lions.
She was named the MVP with a team high five points. Adalia Tucker led the Lions with six.
In the Junior Boys title game, the Mystic Marlins pulled away late for a 33-23 win over the DW Davis Royals.
Cardio Woodside was named the MVP with a game high 12 points, while Donald Hanna scored seven and Tevon Dill added six.
Doris Johnson opened up the game on a 7-0 run en route to a 12-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, powered by six from Hanna.
The Royals would full court trap clamped down defensively and limited the Mystic Marlins to just four points in the second and the trim the deficit to 16-12 at the half. Both teams struggled from the field in the third and scored just four points apiece.
Woodside scored six of his 12 in the fourth quarter en route to leading the team to their first Father Marcian title in school history.
The Senior Girls division featured another first time champion when the Harbour Island Cougars outlasted the Teleos Cherubims, 13-12.
Breontae Bullard scored five while both Shantia Black and Tachante Johnson scored four to help the Cougars take at least one divisional trophy back to Harbour Island for the fourth consecutive year.
Marquella Dean finished with nine to lead Teleos.
The Intermediate Boys closed out play with the CC Sweeting Cobras 31-25 win over the Jordan Prince William Falcons.
Joshua Anderson led the Cobras with 11, Joshua Forbes scored eight and Andre Thompson finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.
Mateo Taylor’s 13 points led the Falcons and Prince McPhee finished with four.
The Falcons took an early 5-1 lead before Thompson’s three and Forbes’ pair of free throws put the Cobras ahead, 6-5 to end the first. The Falcons tied the game at eight midway through the second, but the Cobras took a 13-10 lead into the half.
They opened the third on a 6-0 run to extend the lead to nine and took a 19-11 lead into the fourth.
The lead reached 10 in the fourth on a Rickey Moxey follow for 28-18 lead.
Each of the division winners and runners up were presented with trophies to champions and runners up and MVPs.
There are a plethora of pre-season and mid-season tournaments for senior boys, the Father Marcian tournament is one of the few venues for the other divisions to be showcased.
In the last edition, hosted in 2014, division winners included Freedom Baptist (primary girls), Temple Christian (primary boys), Harbour Island (junior girls), Aquinas College (junior boys), CR Walker (senior girls) and Queen’s College (intermediate boys).
In 2013, Harbour Island All Age School captured three of the six contested divisions – junior boys, intermediate boys and junior girls. Temple Christian won primary boys, The Carlton Francis Shockers won the primary girls’ division and CR Walker won senior girls.
The tournament traditionally features 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 facilitates the event.
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.