By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
CI Gibson Rattlers repeated as champions of the Providence Basketball Club’s 14th annual Christmas Classic.
In the much anticipated championship game on Saturday night, the Rattlers powered to an impressive 80-59 rout over the visiting St George’s Jaguars from Grand Bahama.
And in the consolation game, the St Augustine’s College Big Red Machine held off the Teleos Cherubims 86-72 for a surprising third place.
Rattlers 80, Jaguars 59: What was expected to be a keenly contested match-up turned out to be a lopsided affair. CI Gibson went on a 7-1 spurt in the first four minutes and posted a 21-14 margin at the end of the first quarter.
By the half, they were up 45-26 and they took a 62-40 lead at the end of the third and coasted to an easy victory in the fourth.
Most valuable player Tyrell Butler and Terrance Storr provided a 1-2 punch with 23 and 21 points respectively in leading the charge for the Ratters. Storr also had six rebounds and four assists and Butler had four rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Derico Burrows was their next best scorer with nine points and six rebounds, Darryo Saunders had seven points and five assists and both Cameron Sheover and Shimar Rolle had six points and pulled down six and four rebounds respectively.
“This one was good,” said CI Gibson’s head coach Kevin ‘KJ’ Johnson, who was assisted by Mark Hanna and Craig’ Rambo’ Smith.
“We played a very good St George’s team, but I think we wanted it a little bit more.
“We got better as a group. We’re a very young team with three seniors. This group still has a lot of growing to do. We still have the government schools, we have Hugh Campbell and we have the nationals, so we have a long ways to go and we can only get better.”
As the season progresses, Johnson said if they can improve on their mental toughness for four quarters, they will be a team to contend with.
The Rattlers, who will return to the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association’s regular season with a 4-0 win-loss record as they attempt to regain the title they lost to the CC Sweeting Cobras last year, finished the tournament with a 6-0 record.
CI Gibson advanced to the final by doubling up St Augustine’s College 82-40 in their pool championship game on Friday night. St George’s, who followed with a 5-1 record, earned their berth in the final by knocking off Teleos Academy 49-32.
Christopher Johnson paced the Jaguars’ attack with 16 points and six rebounds. Kingsly Thompson followed with 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jaden Atkinson had seven points and three rebounds.
Three other players – Rick Russell, Theodore Grant and Shavaul Butters – all contributed four points.
“I think we came out kind of flat,” said Calvin McIntosh, who coached the team as Darrel Sears assisted on the bench. “We didn’t expect them to come out as hard and as physical as they did. It kind of put our guys in a position where we are not as experienced yet to come back from those things.”
McIntosh as a young team, they will have to improve on getting back on defense when they return to Grand Bahama where they have already lost to the top three teams including Sunland, Sir Jack Hayward and the Tabernacle Baptist Academy as they are sitting in either third or fourth in the standings.
But he predicted that by the time the Hugh Campbell roll around in February, the Jaguars will be back playing at a much higher level.
Although they are not sure whether or not SAC will enter the Hugh Campbell Classic, Johnson, who heads the Providence Basketball Club, said they were delighted that St Augustine’s College accepted their invitation to plat in the tournament this year.
“SAC always wanted to play in the tournament and we’re glad that they came this year,” he said. “It’s always good to have good teams in the tournament to beat these kids in our country.”
Big Red Machine 86, Cherubim 72: St. Augustine’s also got off to a quick start, taking a 7-1 lead in the first four minutes that they maintained a 17-11 margin at the end of the first quarter in their third place game.
The Cherubim would make it a contest, cutting the deficit to 29-25 in the second quarter, but the Big Red Machine rolled to a 38-31 advantage at the half. A couple times in the third, the Cherubim came within one, but that was as close as they got as SAC held onto a 38-30 score at the end of the period.
Then in the fourth, SAC soared to a 72-60 lead and they never looked back as they withstood every challenge that Teleos threw at them.
“It’s a good feeling, especially because we came into the game short-handed,” said SAC’s coach Jason Edwards. “We had probably the two best guards in the country missing from our lineup, so the other guys just had to step up.
“I think that will only make us stronger as the season progresses because they stepped it up big time for us in this tournament, which was run very well. We got six extra games during the Christmas break.”
Edwards said it was good for his Big Red Machine to get in some extra games during the break as they get ready to continue their 4-0 winning streak in the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools as they prepare to regain the title they lost to the Jordan Prince Williams Falcons last year.
Johnathan Johnson was unstoppable for the Big Red Machine, powering their attack with a game high 34 points and seven rebounds. Avery Nesbitt helped out on the inside with 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Ahmad Young scored nine points; Aaron Sandas had eight points, three rebounds and two assists; Rickey Moxey Jr had seven points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two block shots; Justin Burrows had six points, seven rebounds, two assists and as many steals; Philip Wallace also had six points and Brian Lockhart helped out with four points, three rebounds and three steals.
In a losing effort, Daniel Adams was just as effective with 33 points, three rebounds and three steals. Nathan Sullivan had 25 points and three rebounds; Chadrak Giles had 11 points, four rebounds and two assists and 6-feet-5 Richard Lowe had six points and nine rebounds.
“We were missing two of our players. They are working for Christmas. They were here for the rest of the tournament, but they didn’t play today,” said Teleos’ coach Pastor Dave Adams. “We gave them a run. We could have done better, but missed the other two guys.
“We feel good. We made it to the final four. We took down a couple of power houses, so we feel good about that.”
The Cherubim are the defending champions of the Bahamas Small Schools Association.
Scores from the tournament are as follows:
Wednesday - Teleos def. Elite Academy 53-28; Mt. Carmel def. CV Bethel 46-38; Doris Johnson won by default over Doris Johnson; CI Gibson def. Anatol Rodgers 65-43; Agape def. South Andros 51-47; CC Sweeting def. St. John’s 57-30; St. Augustine’s College def. Aquinas 42-31; St. George’s def. Queen’s College 52-25; CI Gibson def. Agape 73-35; St. Augustine’s College def. Doris Johnson 47-39; St. George’s def. CV Bethel 50-19 and CC Sweeting def. Bahamas Elite Sports 52-27.
Thursday – Queen’s College won by default over CV Bethel; Aquinas def. Doris Johnson 55-54; St. John’s def. Bahamas Elite Sports 46-42; CI Gibson def. South Andros 60-41; St George’s def. Mt. Carmel 50-36; Government High def. St. Augustine’s College 45-43; Anatol Rodgers def. Agape 49-24; Teleos def. CC Sweeting 42-41; Mt. Carmel def. Queen’s College 52-29; Government High def. Aquinas College 57-55; Anatol Rodgers def. South Andros74-62 and Teleos def. St. John’s 51-39.
Friday – (pool play) CI Gibson def. Anatol Rodgers 87-77; Teleos def. CC Sweeting 56-54; St. Augustine’s College def. Government High 92-66; St. George’s def. Mt. Carmel 71-59; CI Gibson def. St. Augustine’s College 82-40 and St. George’s def. Teleos 49-32.
Saturday – (consolation third place) St. Augustine’s College def. Teleos 86-72 and (championship) CI Gibson def. St George’s 80-59.
All-Tournament 1st team – Tyrel Butler (CI Gibson); Terrence Storr (CI Gibson); Nathan Sullivan (Teleos); Shavaul Butters (St. George’s); Kingsly Thompson (St. George’s); Avery Nesbitt (St. Augustine’s College); Kirklyn Farrington (Anatol Rodgers); Samuel Gibson (Government High); Brandon Strachan (CC Sweeting) and Gregory McKay (Mt. Carmel).
All-Tournament 2nd team – DJ Adams (Teleos); Rickey Moxey Jr. (St. Augustine’s College); Anthon Williams (CC Sweeting); Shamir Rolle (CI Gibson); Darrio Burrows (CI Gibson); John Nixon (Aquinas College); Chris Johnson (St. George’s); Jermaine Williams (Mt. Carmel); Storr (Bahamas Elite Sports); Troy Petty (St. George’s).
Rebounds – Avery Nesbitt (St. Augustine’s Colleg); steals – Tyrell Butler (CI Gibson); assists – Anthon Williams (CC Sweeting); blocks - Tyrik Moss (Apage); best defensive player – Anthon Williams (CC Sweeting); best offensive player – Nathan Sullivan (Teleos) and most valuable player – Tyrell Butler (CI Gibson).