Championship time


Senior Sports Reporter


The Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves, CR Walker Knights, SC McPherson Sharks and the HO Lions got the job done in their sudden death playoff games yesterday at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium to book their tickets to the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association’s best-of-three championships.

There wasn’t much love flowing on Valentine’s Day as the Timberwolves knocked off the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins 62-45 and will now face the CI Gibson Rattlers in the senior boys’ division, while the Knights polished off the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins 48-43 and will now face the Rattlers’ senior girls.

In the junior division, the SC McPherson Sharks got by the CH Reeves Raptors 48-29 and will face the DW Davis Royals in the boys’ final and the HO Nash Lions held off the Royals 26-23 and will take on CH Reeves in the girls’ match-up.

Game one of the championship will start at 4pm today. Game two is scheduled for Thursday. If necessary, the third and deciding games will be played on Friday.

Senior boys

Timberwolves 62, Mystic Marlins 45: Jefferson Bethel scored 19, Kirkwood Rolle had 11 and both Lavardo Saunders and Stephano Farrington had 10 to aid in Anatol Rodgers’ win that came with a big loss for Doris Johnson.

With one minute and 33 seconds left on the clock in the first quarter, Mystic Marlins’ leading scorer Laterro Young went down with an injury. The game was held up as he laid on the court grimacing in pain until the ambulance came and took him away for medical treatment.

Doris Johnson trailed 9-7 at that point, but after they finished the period tied at 9-9, Anatol Rodgers opened the game up as they posted a 28-20 lead at the half. By the end of the third, they surged ahead 45-37.

“It was a hard-fought one. We came out with a good game plan. We started out good, but we all got concerned when Laterro went down,” said Anatol Rodgers’ coach Denycko Bowles as he faced his former team he coached up to the break two years ago due to COVID-19.

“He’s a good friend of our team and a member of our programme, so we had a hard time regaining our composure. But we thank God for the victory.”

As they prepare for the finals against his alma mater CI Gibson and his former coach Kevin ‘KJ’ Johnson, Bowles said it’s going to be important for his Timberwolves to take it “one possession at a time, one play at a time, one quarter at a time and just execute Anatol basketball,” and they will be okay. Although the Mystic Marlins managed to keep the deficit to at least 10 points a few times, the Timberwolves just stayed aggressive enough to hold onto the win in the fourth quarter.

In the absence of Young, Torrien Marshall carried the load with a game high 21 points. Ryan Lynes had eight and Jay-Onn Joseph had seven. Sammy Joseph contributed five and Bredon Williams had three.

Doris Johnson’s coach Kevon Spence said it was a difficult road for them after Young went down.

“We put a good game plan together, but early in the game, we lost our best scorer, who is the heart and pull of our team, especially on the offensive end,” Spence said. “That threw the game plan completely off.

“The guys were not used to carrying the load. But in the end, it was a good game. We tried our hardest, but it was difficult for us to pull it off.”

Spence said they are just praying for the best for Young, who appeared to have suffered a left ankle injury.

Senior girls

Knights 48, Stingrays 34: Shamaraja Cummings had 16 and Shenell Stewart had 12 to help power CR Walker to an upset win and a berth into the finals.

Raynia Russell had eight, Brianna Hanna added seven and Valtinique Simmons chipped in with six as the Knights got a balanced attack to preserve the win as they avenged their previous loss to the Stingrays by two points in their first meeting this year.

“It just feels good to beat CV Bethel. It was a good win for us,” said CR Walker’s coach Tia Rolle. “We know CI has a good defensive team and we have a good running team, so we expect it to be a good game.”

Geraniqua Bethel scored 16, Danielle McCoy had 12 and Trinity Bodie added seven, but it wasn’t enough for CV Bethel to avoid elimination.

CR Walker led 12-10 at the end of the first quarter. They opened a 29-17 margin at the half, but held a slim 34-26 at the end of the third and they used a 14-8 spurt in the fourth to seal the deal.

Junior boys

Sharks 48, Raptors 29: LaQuare Collins and Malachi Cadeam provided a 1-2 punch with 15 and 11 points respectively to lift a spirited SC McPherson and coach La'Cricia Swain to victory.

“It’s a good victory. We are very excited right now. To God be the glory. Great things he has done,” she said. “If we can come out with the same intensity and the same fire, we should be able to bring it home for SC.”

Kami Davis, who got six points to start the quarter, finished with eight. Emmit Smith added five, Aijah Pierre had four, Chrjstano Bodie had three and Malik Thompson contributed two.

The Sharks went up 17-7 after the first quarter, thanks to six each from Collins and Davis. They held onto a 28-20 margin at the half before extending it to 37-23 and they cruised in the fourth.

Chaddie Rolle scored seven, Marvin Bastian had six and both Jaime Pierre and Stanley Pratt had five each in a losing effort.

Junior girls

Lions 26, Royals 23: In a hard-fought encounter, HO Nash prevailed to advance, despite not playing up to par, according to coach Patricia ‘Pattie’ Johnson.

“We came here with a game plan and the girls came out and played something else,” Johnson said. “I thought we were going to win rather easily, but we had one or two mishaps and some attitude problems that I am going to sort out right now,” she said. “Donald Davis did some good outside shooting. I was proud of those girls. But we got away. So I will take the win.”

Jada Frazer had eight, both Shaniyah Munroe and Shanovia Moxey had six apiece and Anthonique Pedican had five as they controlled the tempo of the game.

HO Nash opened a 6-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. They went up 18-6 at the half and stayed ahead 21-11 at the end of the third.

Kenisha Capron had 13 points, including nine as they made a gallant comeback in the fourth.

Latesha Wallace added six and Shandia Johnson chipped in with four, but it wasn’t enough as DW Davis got eliminated.

Today’s Championships

4pm - CH Reeves vs HO Nash (game one junior girls).

DW Davis vs (game one junior boys).

CI Gibson vs CR Walker (game one senior girls).

CI Gibson vs Anatol Rodgers (game one senior boys).

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