Giants junior boys win basketball title

BAISS CHAMPIONS: St John’s College Giants junior boys defeated the Queen’s College Comets 46-44 yesterday to claim the championship title in Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools’ best-of-three series at Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium. Photo: Dante Carrer

BAISS CHAMPIONS: St John’s College Giants junior boys defeated the Queen’s College Comets 46-44 yesterday to claim the championship title in Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools’ best-of-three series at Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium. Photo: Dante Carrer


Tribune Sports Reporter


Game two was all the St John’s College Giants junior boys and Charles W Saunders senior boys needed last night to sweep their opponents in the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) best-of-three championship series.

The Giants said goodbye to the Queen’s College Comets, defeating them 46-44. For the seniors, the Cougars repeated as champions 71-58 against the Kingsway Academy Saints at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium. Meanwhile, the St Augustine’s College junior girls and Kingsway Academy senior girls kept their series alive against the Giants.

Junior Boys

The story for the Giants’ junior boys had a fairytale ending with the team taking the junior boys’ title in sweeping fashion. The Giants swept the Comets 2-0 with a narrow game two win. They wrapped up the halftime break firmly in charge 29-17.

The newly-crowned champions then widened the gap by double digits at the 1:46 mark in the third period. In the final quarter, the Comets shaved the lead down to 43-39 with 1:33 on the clock. A few seconds later, QC were within one (43-42) after scoring a tough go-ahead layup. The Comets pushed the Giants to the brink and really made them work for the hardware down the stretch. After a breakaway layup by the Comets, they trailed 46-44 but time ran out and their championship window was ultimately shut.

Darshtyn Baker, head coach of the Giants, was overwhelmed with emotion as he dedicated the championship win to a former player.

“First of all this win is dedicated to one of my former players Sanchez... These guys worked hard all year for this and they showed resilience in the end. QC made a hell of a run in the end, most teams would have crumbled but the guys kept their composure and looked me in my eyes and said ‘coach I got this for you.’ That’s what they did, they went out there and they secured the win,” Baker said.

Leonardo Rolle will have to make room for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award after his 15-point performance in the championship victory.

Senior boys

The repeat champions had full command of the game in the first half which they ended up 32-21.

The Saints then mounted a comeback behind a mas- terclass performance by Rajin Smith in the third quarter.

Smith scored 11 game- changing points in the third period and brought them within two (43-41) headed into the final quarter.

However, the champions displayed their experience and blasted off to a 6-0 run which eventually translated into a 10-point advantage.

After Smith sat for the Saints, the Cougars demor- alised his team 64-49 which blossomed into a 20-point lead, guiding the champions to a back-to-back win.

Dario Burrows, head coach of the Cougars, was overjoyed to witness his programme take home yet another senior boys championship.

“When you build a pro- gramme from the ground up and you reach to this point, like God says ‘first shall be last and last shall be first.’ My principal built this from the ground up. She invested in this and now we are here tonight, she is the MVP,” the coach said.

Burrows said he wants to make a change in Charles W Saunders and Jordan Prince Williams High School to ensure that they remain champions for a long time.

The Most Valuable Player on the court was Raymone Woods with a team-high 20 points.

Smith finished with 23 for the Saints.

Junior Girls

The two remaining teams from last year’s finals met once again a year later but SAC was determined not to face the same fate this time around, edging out the Giants 29-28.

The Giants’ junior girls seemed determined to sweep last year’s runners-up, dominating in the first half of the contest.

The defending champions went into the break firmly in the driver’s seat, or so they thought, leading 15-9. Then came the Big Red Machine, who turned in a night and day performance in the second half. The team’s valiant effort was highlighted by swarming defence and well-timed offence.

Although St John’s ran ahead by double digits then went on to close out the third 24-17, the momentum at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium had definitely shifted from the Giants.

SAC got within one after converting on a three-point play and then took control 28-27 with less than two minutes on the clock in the fourth. It was their first lead of the half where they out- scored the Giants 12-4.

Anastacia Moultrie, head coach of SAC, was pleased with the gritty win.

“They finally found a way to get aggressive. That was missing, they finally worked the defence a little bit. They wanted it today. I told them it is either do-or-die today or come back on Friday and finish it off. They really wanted it today so I am glad they stepped up, praise God so we will fight another day,” Moultrie said.

Going into game three the head coach had a simple message for the team.

“We have to come out with more tenacity, more aggression, and we have to take this one back for SAC,” the coach said.

Kailie Moss dropped 13 points for the Big Red Machine with 11 picked up in the second half. SJC’s Dania Rolle came away with nine points.

Senior Girls

The Saints witnessed the Giants’ junior boys sweep the Comets and decided that would not happen to them in the senior girls’ matchup. The team pulled out a 34-30 win. Despite both teams being tied at 14 in the second quarter, the Giants managed to prevail 28-20 in the third.

However, similar to the junior girls’ game, Saints grinded it out in the final quarter. Kingsway took their first lead of the half with less than 1:30 on the clock (29-28). The Giants quickly responded to go back up by one. This trend continued until last year’s junior girls MVP Andica Curtis stepped to the charity stripe and made 6-for-9 clutch free throws to propel her team to a game three set for Friday. She finished with a game-high 23 points.

Tamaro Butler, head coach of the Saints, praised the team’s efforts to gut it out after a sluggish start.

“We started off slow but we picked it up. We fought and we got the W,” Butler said.

He spoke on the play of Curtis who went down with an apparent ankle injury in the first half. “She has been carrying this team all year and her teammates trust her, we trust her. When she was injured the other girls carried it and she came back and finished it,” he said.

The coach added that in game three the Saints have to come out with the same intensity they displayed in the 4th quarter last night.

The remaining cham-ions will be crowned on Friday at the same venue


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