St. Bede's eliminated from Catholic Primary sudden death playoffs


Senior Sports Reporter


WITH their school getting ready to close down for good in June, the St Bede’s Crushers were hoping to at least get into the Catholic Diocesan Primary Schools basketball playoffs.

On Friday, the Crushers did what they had to do by nipping the St Thomas More Sparks 26-25 on a game winning basket from Blaze Darling.

St Bede’s, however, needed St Francis/Joseph Shockers to beat the St Cecilia’s Strikers in order for them to have a shot at the sudden death playoffs that start on Wednesday.

Instead, the Strikers routed the Shockers 41-16 to automatically eliminate the Crushers.

“It would have been nice to see them get into the playoffs, seeing that they were the first school to win the championship,” said Vanta Culmer, the coordinator of the Catholic Diocesan Primary Schools sports programme. “They played hard and they came right down to the final game of the regular season. Unfortunately, they were a little bit short.”

With less than 10 seconds left in the game, Jorden Freemantle drilled the ball across the half-court line and threw up a “hail mary” shot that bounced off the rim and just over the backboard. It dropped right in the hands of Darling, who put the ball back up to score the final basket as St Bede’s celebrated their second victory in 10 games for the season.

Davon Martin had 10 in a losing effort.

With Sean Riley pouring in a game high 16 points, St Cecilia’s sealed up the fourth and final playoff spot and avoided a reap of last year with three teams fighting to get the fourth, which was decided in a round robin series.

Shaun Miller scored just four to lead the Shockers as they joined the Crushers as the only two teams watching the rest of the season from the sidelines.

Our Lady’s Blue Flames, who will also close in June, wrapped up their second consecutive pennant as they held off the Xavier’s Giants 28-21 behind Deyton Albury’s game high 11 points. Kevin Thompson had six in a losing effort.

In winning the pennant again this year, Our Lady’s finished on top of the standings at 8-1, followed by St Thomas at 6-4, the same record as Xavier’s, who got third based on their head-to-head match-ups.

St Cecilia’s were fourth at 3-7, while St Bede’s and St Francis/Joseph round out the field at 2-6.

When the sudden death playoff is held on Wednesday, Our Lady’s is slated to meet St Cecilia’s in the first game at 3:30pm. That will be followed by St Thomas More vs Xavier’s in the feature contest. The two winners will clash in the best-of-three championship series that is scheduled to begin on Monday, December 3.

“This is going to be interesting,” Culmer said. “We hope we don’t have a repeat of last year where Our Lady’s won the pennant, but got beat by the fourth place team.”

Despite being eliminated, St Bede’s still managed to remain the second winningest team in the league. After winning the first two titles consecutively under coach Jerry Kanuka, St Bede’s went on to add five more titles, the last three consecutive ones under coaches Donnie Culmer and Ricardo Freemantle. The other two titles were won with coaches Canute Graham and Maurice Fawkes.

“We salute St Bede’s as they have played in their last season,” Culmer said. “We will miss them next year. Great job always Crushers. Behold the blue and gold.”


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment