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High school basketball nationals to get underway next Thursday

The Bahamas National High School Basketball Championships are set to get underway next weekend in the nation’s second city.

Back in Freeport, Grand Bahama, for high school basketball’s biggest event, the local organizing committee recently announced the 12-team seedings for the third edition of the high school basketball nationals.

The Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons will go into the tournament seeded number one overall. The Falcons, fresh off a Grand Bahama Secondary Schools Athletic Association (GBSSAA) senior boys’ basketball championship, and the winners of the most recent Hugh Campbell Championship, will lead a field of 12 teams into the high school basketball nationals.

The Hugh Campbell runner-up C.C. Sweeting Cobras, from the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA), is seeded second; the C.I. Gibson Rattlers (GSSSA) is seeded third; the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves (GSSSA) is the fourth seed; the Jack Hayward High Wildcats (GBSSAA) is seeded fifth; the St. Georges Jaguars (GBSSAA) is the sixth seed; the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine, from the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS), is seeded seventh; the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins (GSSSA) is the eighth seed; the Sunland Baptist Stingers (GBSSAA) is the ninth seeded team; the Jordan Prince Williams Falcons (BAISS) is seeded 10th; the Teleos Academy Cherubims, from the Bahamas Scholastic Athletic Association is the 11th seed; and finally, the Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays (GBSSAA) is seeded 12th.

The Falcons will open the tournament next week Thursday against the Blue Jays. That game is set for 5 p.m.

Other match-ups on Thursday will be the Rattlers taking on the Prince William Falcons at 2 p.m.; the Cherubims challenging the Cobras at 3 p.m.; the Jaguars taking on SAC at 4 p.m.; the Timberwolves battling the Stingers at 6 p.m.; and the Wildcats taking on the Mystic Marlins at 7 p.m.

“There are a handful of teams that will be considered favorites to win the ‘Big Dance’, but there are also a handful of teams that could come out of nowhere and make some noise. After all, March is chaotic for a reason,” said Buster Laing, basketball analyst from Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Laing is picking the Hugh Campbell Champions Tabernacle Baptist Falcons to win the national title.

“Tabernacle has been the nation’s best team for the last four months, and the most talented team in basketball,” he said. “They play ferocious defense, and have the experience. When talking purely about talent, the Falcons are a step above everyone else. It starts with Desmond Butler, the GBSSAA Player of the Year, and then there is Joshua Dames, the Hugh Campbell Most Valuable Player. However, as good as they’ve been – and they have been very good – history is not on their side. Despite several outstanding regular seasons and back-to-back Hugh Campbell Championships, they never seem to have enough to win the national championship.”

The St. Georges Jaguars is the defending champion in the senior boys division, and the C.C. Sweeting Cobras won the previous year.

Some of the best duos to be on display at the high school nationals are Desmond Butler and Joshua Dames, from Tabernacle; Malachi McCoy and Michael Balfour, from Doris Johnson; Tyrell Butler and Terrence Storr, from C.I. Gibson; Chris Johnson and Kingcy Thompson, from St. Georges; Avery Nesbitt and Rickey Moxey Jr., from SAC; Kirklyn Farrington and Dominick Bridgewater, from Anatol Rodgers; Brandon Strachan and Marco Beckford, from C.C. Sweeting; D.J. Adams and Nathan Sullivan, from Teleos; McKell Bethel and Jalen Hall, from Jack Hayward High; and Howard Burrows and Joshua Cornish, from Sunland Baptist.

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