Saints stop Strikers in opener on day 5


Sports Reporter


Day five of the 31st Father Marcian Peters Basketball Classic opened with one of the most closely contested games of the tournament thus far and from the youngest of the many divisions.

The Kingsway Academy Saints emerged with a 29-25 win over the St Cecilia’s Strikers in the Primary Boys as the tournament continued at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium yesterday.

In a game that featured seven ties and eight lead changes, the Saints used a 6-0 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to finally pull ahead for good.

Toby Simmon scored a game high 15 points and  Leonardo Burrows scored eight.

Cayden King led the Strikers with 11 points.

Saints head coach Franco Moncur said his team expected a hard- fought game in the second matchup between the two teams in the tournament.

“St Cecilia’s played us tough on day one with our assistant coach coaching and I was pretty sure that when they came back they would come with a solid game plan. We just tweaked a few things so they would not see the exact same looks. On top of that, a few of our players got hurt before the game so we really had to come with a new game plan,” he said.

“I liked the way my guys hustled and scrapped. They followed instructions but we still have to do a better job rebounding but, other than that, I think it was a good effort.”

The Saints opened the game with a 5-0 run before the Strikers would respond with a run of their own to tie the game at five. They tied again at seven and at nine at the end of the first quarter. Evenly played throughout the second they took a 13-all tie into the half.

Deadlocked at 17, Simmon put the Saints ahead for good with a layup late in the quarter to give his team a 19-17 lead into the fourth.

The Saints’ Deante Clarke made a jumper on the first possession of the fourth and Simmon followed with back-to-back scores.

They built a seven-point lead with just over two minutes left to play and withstood a late surge from the Strikers when Aiden Miller made a baseline jumper.

“It’s just a matter of staying focused. A lot of the times the guys get to the basket and they just want to throw up prayers rather than focusing on fundamentals,” Moncur said, “We’re going to have to tweak some things, particularly on taking the right amount of steps before you take your layup. In terms of rebounding we are still standing around. We have to box out better and compete. We’re in good shape we just have to show the heart and focus on our fundamentals.

He credited his team’s demeanour and ability to close out a close game due to their participation in a tough Bahamas Scholastic Association league, which features Primary School students.

The BAISS only offers basketball to Junior and High school students.

“We play in the small schools league. Teams like Christian Heritage, Teleos, Freedom Baptist, Temple Christian, they give us a lot of fight so every day we have to prepare because we have a lot of tough games coming. They only break we really have is for Father Marcian, right after this we are back to league play on January 4,” he said, “We get a lot of games in, more than the other leagues because we play almost 20 games per year.”

Family Island schools will enter the tournament field today when the tournament continues at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium at 2pm.

Visiting schools expected to compete include Harbour Island, Bimini and San Salvador.

Today’s schedule includes play in the Primary Boys, Junior Boys, Senior Girls, and Intermediate Boys.


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