Pennant winners secure early leads


Sports Reporter


IN game one of the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association basketball championship series, each of the pennant winners took early series leads, with blowouts in girls’ play and a pair of close finishes in the boys’ divisions.

The CI Gibson Rattlers, CR Walker Knights, DW Davis Royals and HO Nash Lions each have an opportunity to clinch championship titles as the best-of-three series continues at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium today.

In the feature game of the night, the Rattlers look to repeat in a matchup of last year’s championship series after they took game one over the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, 88-84.

Three CI Gibson starters finished with at least 20 points led by Michael Sweeting’s 22. Point guard Shakwon Lewis nearly finished with a triple double - 20 points, 11 assists and seven steals - to lead his team to the win, while Wilben Sephin also added 20 points.

Johnley Noel chipped in with nine points while Ira Farrington added a game high six blocks.

Kyle Turnquest led the Mystic Marlins with 15 points and five assists, Brendon Stubbs added 13 points, Dwayne Dormeus added 13 points and Game Atilus added 11.

After trailing by as much as 21 in the fourth quarter, the Mystic Marlins made a late run in the fourth quarter, but fell just short.

In the first, the Rattlers jumped out to an early eight-point lead before the Mystic Marlins’ offence recovered and made it a 20-19 lead at the end of the quarter.

In the second, the Rattlers pulled away again, opening the quarter on a 13-3 run to take their first double-digit lead of the game on a Sephin layup.

CI Gibson took a 40-32 lead at the half.

Lewis, who went scoreless in the first half, erupted for 13 points in the third quarter and the defending champions took a seemingly overwhelming 17-point lead into the fourth, 68-51.

In the junior boys’ matchup, the DW Davis Royals overcame a late fourth quarter deficit to pull away for a 67-64 win over the HO Nash Lions.

Dante Hepburn scored a team high 23 points to lead the Royals while Rashawn Cambridge added 21.

Marco Beckford scored a game high 26 points to lead the Lions while Tyeko Lowe added 16.

The Lions led 64-63 with 1:02 left to play before Hepburn scored the game’s four final points to seal the win.

In the senior girls’ game, the CR Walker Knights remained undefeated on the season with a 30-18 win.

The junior girls’ matchup was another lopsided affair when the Lions topped the CH Reeves Raptors 27-3.

The finale of the GSSSA season will be aired live on national television for the fifth consecutive year, thanks to a partnership between government and corporate entities.

The Sports Unit of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, in conjunction with the GSSSA, Cable Bahamas, Colina Holdings and RBC, will ensure that the games in each of the four championship series will be seen by Bahamians across the country, broadcast live on Cable 12.

Evon Wisdom, director of the Sports Unit in the Ministry of Education, gave special recognition to the sponsors, who he said have invested heavily in young Bahamian student athletes.

“The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology wishes to thank its three sponsors, in particular Cable Bahamas who has been a major sponsor since this idea began some years ago. Cable Bahamas has invested well over $100,000 in this product and there is a lot of technical effort that goes into this event each year. Colina has increased their sponsorship this year to assist us with extra taxes we have had. They have stepped up to the challenge because they know this is a quality product,” he said.

“They have graciously provided the means for these championships to be broadcast nationally which goes a long way for the growth of these student athletes and our communities at large. We know that sports has a way of bringing communities together, and these games will indeed unite fans who will enjoy the high calibre of play of teams that made it to the finals.”

Monday will feature the “Colina halftime show” with the Urban Renewal band as the headliners.


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