The St. John’s College Giants are suddenly establishing themselves as a powerhouse in basketball in the private school system, placing two teams in the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) championships at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium yesterday.
The Giants senior girls remained unbeaten on the season, blasting the Kingsway Academy Saints in their sudden death playoff game, 57-7. Their senior boys pulled away from the Saints late to win that game, 65-57. In the junior boys division, the Queen’s College Comets turned back the fourth seeded St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine, 36-17, and in junior girls play, SAC defeated the Comets, 40-32.
Giants 65, Saints 57
After a four-year absence, the St. John’s College Giants returned to the BAISS senior boys basketball championship series yesterday, knocking off the upstart Kingsway Academy Saints, 65-57.
The game was close throughout as no team led by more than five points until the final minute of the game when the Giants were able to pull away. After big man Torres Basden fouled out, and with sharp shooter Jordan Maycock on the bench, the Giants turned to point guard Tyrese Porter to get it done. Porter responded with nine huge fourth quarter points, including six in the final two minutes of the game to help the Giants record the victory and move on to the BAISS best-of-three championships which get underway on Thursday.
Porter had a game-high 24 points for the Giants. Maycock scored 19 including five three-point shots and Immanuel Carey dropped in eight. Denaje Rolle had six for the Giants and Basden was held to just four before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Cruz Johnson also had four points for the Giants.
Aston Webb paced the Saints with 14. Dacoda Johnson had 11, Jermain Adderley and McCallister Smith scored eight apiece and Mazio Randall and Kirk Beneby dropped in six apiece.
“Hats off to Kingsway. They played a hell of a game,” said Giants’ Head Coach Duery Edgecombe. “We played them in the regular season and it wasn’t as competitive as it was today. We knew that a playoff atmosphere would bring out the best in them tonight, and it did. They came with more intensity and it just came down to who wanted it more at the end.”
The game was close throughout with the Giants leading 14-12 after the first quarter and with it being tied at 21 at the half. The Giants were ahead 36-35 after three, and weren’t able to take control of the game until the final two minutes. That’s when Porter started to take the ball to the hole aggressively and it paid off for them with lay-ups, trips to the free throw line, or both. He scored eight of the final 12 points for the Giants.
Also, the Giants were able to neutralize Saints’ big man Randall who was a force on the inside for them. After he picked up his fourth foul in the fourth quarter, the Giants started challenging him more on the inside on the offensive side of the floor. Randall was able to avoid a fifth foul but he wasn’t as aggressive defensively as he was up until the point when he picked up his fourth foul.
“He’s a big guy. We tried to crowd him and we tried to front him but he was still able to be effective. Thankfully, he missed some shots on the inside,” said Edgecombe. “We’re a small team so we tried to utilize our speed and that worked for us today. In the championship, we have to tighten up our defense. We have to get back in transition and shut down the lanes. That was an issue today. Once we come out here and execute like how we’re supposed to, we should have a good showing. It will be a great series no matter who we play and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Giants will play the winner of the other sudden death playoff game between the second seeded Temple Christian Suns and the Comets. That game is set for today at the Kendal Isaacs Gym.
Giants 57, Saints 7
The St. John’s College Giants have been the team to beat in senior girls play in the private school sector, and yesterday was no different as they humiliated the Kingsway Academy Saints at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. They won easily, 57-7.
In the completely one-sided affair, the Giants had more points in the first quarter than what the Saints scored for the entire game. In fact, they shut out the Saints in the opening quarter, taking a commanding 18-0 lead after one. They were up 31-4 at the half, and 49-7 at the end of three. Just like the opening quarter, the Saints were held scoreless in the fourth.
The undefeated pennant-winning Giants were led by a dozen points from Calvinique Spence. Laquon Sands and Christianna Richardson dropped in 10 apiece and Tianna Gordon and Sideya Hilaire both had six.
Abbeana Brennan had five of the seven points for the Saints. Braville Marshall scored the other two.
The Giants will move on to play the winner of the other sudden death playoff game between second seeded SAC and the third seeded Jordan Prince William Falcons in the championship series. That game is set for today at the Kendal Isaacs Gym, and the best-of-three finals will get underway on Thursday.
Comets 36, SAC 17
The pennant-winning Queen’s College Comets jumped on the fourth seeded St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine early and never looked back. By the end of the first quarter, they were already ahead by double figures, and went on to win, 36-17.
Jayden Munnings was the only player in the low-scoring game in double figures. He had a game-high 11 for the Comets. Ethan Simmons dropped in eight and Maleeka Pierre scored seven.
ReSean Ferguson paced the Big Red Machine with six points and Jaiden Brown scored four.
By the end of the first quarter, the Comets were ahead 17-5, and the rout was on. They were held to just five points in the second quarter, but SAC couldn’t get anything going offensively and never threatened the rest of the way. The Comets were ahead 22-11 at the half, and 26-13 at the end of three. They coasted to the easy win in the fourth.
The Comets will play the winner of the other sudden death playoff game between the second seeded Falcons and the third seeded Saints in the best-of-three championship series. The game between the Falcons and the Saints is set for today, and the best-of-three finals will get underway on Thursday.
SAC 40, Comets 32
Behind a huge game from Antonicia Moultrie, the fourth seeded St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine stunned the pennant-winning Queen’s College Comets, winning 40-32 on Monday.
Moultrie struck for exactly half of her team’s 40 points to offset a similarly strong performance from junior national team player Denika Lightbourn of the Comets.
Moultrie had 20 for SAC and Lightbourn countered with a game-high 22 for the Comets. They tried to lead their respective teams to victory, but in the end, it would be Moultrie and SAC who would pull through.
With Moultrie and Lightbourn basically balancing out each other, it would be up to the two teams’ supporting casts to make the difference in the game. A’Jani Culmer helped out with eight points for SAC and Shakimah Clarke and Orielle Johnson scored six apiece. A couple of treys from Moultrie in the second quarter helped SAC to open up a double-digit lead and they never looked back. They were ahead just 8-5 after the opening quarter, but 23-11 at the break. They held on to a double-digit lead at the end of three, 33-23, and cruised to a win in the fourth quarter.
Behind Lightbourn’s game-high, Malia Gibson and Ebony Horton scored four apiece for the Comets.
The Big Red Machine will go on to play the winner of the other sudden death playoff game between the second seeded Giants and the third seeded Falcons in the best-of-three championship series. The game between the Giants and the Falcons is set for today, and the best-of-three finals will get underway on Thursday. All of the games will be played at the Kendal Isaacs gym.