GSSSA sudden death playoffs heat up

DAY ONE REPLAY: All four first seeds secured a spot in the championship round on day one of the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) sudden death basketball playoffs at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium. Photos: Tenajh Sweeting/Tribune Staff

DAY ONE REPLAY: All four first seeds secured a spot in the championship round on day one of the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) sudden death basketball playoffs at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium. Photos: Tenajh Sweeting/Tribune Staff


Tribune Sports Reporter


THE Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) basketball sudden death playoffs are heating up at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium with action set to continue on the court on Thursday.

In the junior girls’ division, the pennant-winning HO Nash Lions sent the fourth seeded AF Adderley Tigers packing 50-20 yesterday. Making it to the next step in the junior boys’ division were the DW Davis Royals for a seventh consecutive year. The CV Bethel Stingrays remained unbeaten, defeating the RM Bailey Pacers 44-31.

The CI Gibson Rattlers outmatched the CR Walker Knights 99-56 to book yet another spot in the championship round.

Junior Girls

The battle of the Lions and Tigers was won easily by the former. The game was a foregone conclusion from the opening quarter which saw the Lions gain a 14-4 advantage to end the period. Fast forward to the second quarter, the Lions converted on a tough layup and drove the score up 17-6. After this juncture, the Tigers were unsuccessful on multiple shot attempts resulting in them only making one bucket.

At the halftime mark, the Lions were up by 19.

In the third, the first seed held off the Tigers by 23 points and ended the segment 38-12. The Tigers’ junior girls never recovered and watched their opponents advance to another championship series.

Patricia “Pattie ‘’ Johnson, head coach of the Lions, talked about the sudden death playoff win and how it felt to remain in charge after a strong regular season.

“We had a pretty good season. We had some ups and downs. They played way better than they played them the first time. We cannot look at anybody and say this is what we are gonna do. If you let your guard down you could get sorted out. We have to see who is coming and get ready for them. We have a lot of stuff to do,” coach Johnson said.

Shawnovia Moxey played with a chip on her shoulder this round. She scored a game-high 25 points with 15 gained in the first half of the contest.

Lennice Johnson gave the Tigers 10 points in a losing effort.

Junior Boys

The junior boys of HO Nash did not fare as well against the pennant-winning Royals. The lower seed hung around all game long but were unable to upset the reigning champions who won 42-27. The game was tightly-contested in the first quarter as neither team was able to put together a significant offensive stretch.

However, the defending champions then went up 15-6 but then came the Lions, who closed in 17-13 after Tavion Farrington pumped in five consecutive points. The Royals went into the intermission 19-15.

The Royals came out with more offensive prowess in the second half and were successful on two go-ahead layups to push away 29-18 with under 3:00 on the clock. After ending the third quarter in command, the Royals floored ahead 40-25 en route to the best-of-three championship series.

Mark Hanna, head coach of the Royals, was grateful to be back in the finals and has one goal.

“For this programme if we don’t win it then it is a failure. We have been accustomed to taking the bacon home by God’s grace. If we win this one it will be seven straight,” Hanna said.

He gave credit to the Lions for playing hard and said there will be minor adjustments made ahead of the championships.

“We were beating HO Nash all year and they were tired of us beating them. They played tough and they played hard, hats off to them but thank God for the victory. The guys need to play together more, swing the ball faster, little small adjustments. Depending on who we are playing against we will adjust as we go,” the coach said.

Windisky Paul amassed a game-high 15 points to lead the Royals in the game. Farrington dropped a side-high 10 points.

Senior Girls

The undefeated Stingrays stuck to their winning ways on Tuesday night. They took off on offence leading 23-8 at the 2:51 mark in the second period.

The Pacers tried to generate some offence in the third, gaining ground to make the score 29-18. The pennant winners closed the curtain on the third period up 29-20. They then shifted into the next gear in the fourth quarter, running the score up to 44-21 and sending the Pacers home.

Shantelle Rolle, head coach of the Stingrays, talked about the win to advance to the finals.

“We came out sluggish in the first half. I told my girls we have to step up on defence and let’s try to put the team away. We made one or two adjustments in the second half. We played the box-in-one and continued to step up on the press and hoped to create turnovers,” Rolle said.

She added that they are looking to do the same things in the championships to take the two games and will not take any teams for granted. Garanique Bethel led the team in scoring with 15 points.

For the Pacers, Vincinique Dames powered her way to a game-high 17 points in the loss.

Senior Boys

The Rattlers were in charge from the open- ing tip to the final buzzer versus the Knights. They opened the game on a 19-5 run and concluded the half 43-21. Going into the break with a 22-point cushion was all the Rattlers needed to end the Knights’ season in the sudden death playoffs.

They slithered away behind a third quarter surge jumpstarted by three consecutive open layups and the Knights were simply unable to respond.

Kevin “KJ” Johnson, head coach of the Rattlers, spoke about the comfortable victory.

“We played hard tonight. We wanted to play the type of basketball we are capable of playing, on the defensive side of the ball

we did that. Despite the score, I felt like CR Walker played extremely hard and I could appreciate that. They never looked at the score and gave up. They fought.

Coach Trevor Grant always has a hard-working, fighting team and I appreciate the fight that they brought tonight,” coach Johnson said.

He added that it was their goal to make it back to the championships and remain undefeated.

“It feels really good, that was our goal to try to win this game and go back to the championship to see who we are gonna be oppo- nents against, CC Sweeting or Anatol Rodgers,” the coach stated.

Five Rattlers scored in double digits with Tashan Butler’s 17 points leading the team. On the opposite end, Carlton Johnson was a one-man band, finishing with a game-high 28 points.

The sudden death playoffs pick back up 4:30pm on Thursday at the same venue.


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