By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
A NEW slate of champions were crowned as the 32nd edition of the Father Marcian Peters Basketball Classic concluded last weekend.
More than 40 teams spread across six divisions registered for the tournament that concluded on Saturday at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
Hosted by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture, there was a new champion in every division as teams battled over the course of the week for tournament bragging rights. In the Primary Girls' division, the Temple Christian Suns continued to dominate the group with another tournament title when they defeated the Catholic School champions St Thomas Moore 17-15.
On the Primary Boys' side, the Teleos Cherubims defeated the St Francis and Joseph Shockers 21-17.
The Jordan Prince William Falcons had the most lopsided win of any championship title game with a 28-6 win over Freedom Baptist.
Contrastingly, the Junior Boys' division had the closest finish of any title game when the DW Davis Royals got a late field goal as time expired to defeat the Falcons 36-34.
In the Senior Girls' division, the Falcons defeated the Queen's College Comets 30-12.
In the Intermediate Boys' division, Akephran International claimed their first tournament title when they defeated the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, 30-24.
The Falcons claimed the Father Marcian Peters award for the top overall team in the tournament by virtue of scoring the most total points of any institution.
Three Falcons teams reached the championship title game in three divisions and won two.
Tournament director Scooter Reid said the goal is for as many teams as possible to chase the trophy in honour of the tournament's namesake.
"Together, the combination of the five Jordan Prince William teams scored a total of 432 points to top every other school. You should be proud because this is your second year doing this in a row, so congratulations to you," he said. "This is the award I want all of the schools to come after, the more teams you bring to the tournament, the better your opportunity to win this trophy and be recognised as one of the top schools."
Reid told the Tribune in previous interviews that immediate goals would include expanding the reach to have more girls' teams.
"It is our intention next tournament to have more girls play. Even though the games in the divisions for girls are good, we need to have more girls in the tournament. This was originally a girls tournament, so to have a decline in numbers in those divisions is a little disappointing," he said.
"So we would like to tell all the teams or as many as possible, if they want to play, they have to bring a girls' team."
The primary and junior boys had the highest concentration of teams with 11 entrants in each division. Eight teams were entered in the intermediate boys, five teams in the primary girls, four in the junior girls and another three in the intermediate girls' division.
Following a hiatus for the 2015 edition, the tournament had a successful return last year in 2016.
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.
The tournament traditionally features scores of teams from the primary girls and boys, junior girls and boys, intermediate boys and senior girls. 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.