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Columbus High wins Tabby Tourney

Two boys, who looked to be 12-13 year olds, sat wide-eyed under the basket during the championship game of the 13th Annual Tabernacle Baptist Academy Thanksgiving Tournament, and were discussing the play of the Columbia High School Eagles basketball team from Decatur, Georgia.

“Wow… and they are only ranked #12 in the states,” said one of the boys in amazement (Columbia was ranked #12 by the Fab50 coming into the tournament).

“Yeah boy, they should be ranked number #1, dred,” said the other wide-eyed and excited boy, who was impressed with the slam-fest act of the visiting team.

Columbia High School won its fifth game in four days on Saturday night. The win secured the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons Thanksgiving title for the American team. They defeated the C.I. Gibson Rattlers out of New Providence, in the championship game, 66-48. The battle took place on the court of the Jack Hayward High school gymnasium.

“It is a good feeling to get the trophy and close out against a good team,” said Eagles’ coach Dr. Philip McCray. “We don’t worry about the ranking part, we want to push our kids to be the best that they can be on the court and let the chips fall where they may.”

The Eagles won their games by an average margin of 25 points.

“During breakfast, we found out that a lot of the kids from Columbia High have already committed to Division I colleges. It shows the results when you work hard in the classroom,” said coach of C.I. Gibson, Kevin Johnson. “We had a nice look at this team and it was a great experience to play against this level of talent. I can guarantee they will be successful if they can get in the classroom and do their book work.”

The Eagles were led by forwards 6’ 7” Jarmal Reed, 6’ 8” Chris Horton and 5’ 8’’ point guard Tahj Shamsid Deen. Reed set the tone for the game in the first half, scoring seven of his team’s first 11 points, including two monster slam dunks that brought the over three hundred fans to their feet. The Eagles led 46-20 at the half behind Reed’s 10 points.

Shedell Bell and Brandan Goshay scored six points each. Adney Bethel led the Rattlers with six first half points.

“It was a good win and I’m proud of our team,” said Reed.

Reed finished with 15 points. Deen did much of his damage in the second half, finishing with 14 points.

“We got off to a quick start with our defense,” said Deen, who also compared the style of play to that of the United States.

“The play here is more physical than in the states but it was a good experience.”

Horton scored only six points, but ruled the paint with his long wingspan, swatting away five balls in the first half and adding two ferocious dunks in the first half for the Eagles who resembled the 1982-1984 ‘Phi-Slamma Jamma’ Houston Cougars with their slam dunking and explosive style of play and full court pressing style.

Adney Bethel led the Rattlers with 16 points, while William Rigby scored 11.

There is nothing such as a perfect team or a perfect game, but on Saturday night with their dominance at the 2011 Thanksgiving tournament, the Columbia High School Eagles were as close as Grand Bahama has ever seen to a perfect high school basketball team… at least for the past five days, according to two 12-13 year olds.

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