It took five overtimes for the Queen’s College Comets senior boys to taste victory last night, and Head Coach Dwayne Smith said that it was worth every moment as they will march on to face the St. John’s College Giants in the championship. It was certainly one of the more thrilling games of the season, and probably ever in local high school basketball as the Comets weathered the storm to outlast the Temple Christian Suns.
Dre Hudson was fantastic, determined not to let his team lose. He hit what turned out to be the game-winning free shot with just eight seconds left to lift the Comets to victory. Dayton Albury was prolific all game for the second seeded Suns but missed a runner in the lane in the waning seconds in the fifth overtime. The Comets prevailed 77-76 and will face the Giants in the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) best-of-three championships starting Thursday at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.
In senior girls play, the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine turned back the Jordan Prince William Falcons in a close game, 43-42, and will play the Giants in the championship.
The Falcons junior boys defeated the Kingsway Academy Saints yesterday, 47-44, yesterday and will play the pennant-winning Comets in the championship series.
In the junior girls division, the Giants outlasted the Falcons, 35-33, and will play SAC in the championship series.
Comets 77, Suns 76 – 5OT
Fans were beginning to wonder if the senior boys sudden death playoff contest between the Queen’s College Comets and the Temple Christian Suns would ever end last night.
In what turned out to be one of the longest and most dramatic games ever in local high school basketball, the Comets prevailed in five overtimes, taking down the Suns, 77-76.
Dre Hudson’s free shot with eight seconds left proved to be the difference. The Suns drove the length of the court, but Dayton Albury missed a runner in the lane in the waning seconds. Both players had massive performances, leading their respective teams in scoring and both avoiding a fifth foul for much of the overtime sessions.
Albury played with four fouls for half of the fourth quarter and all five overtime periods and Hudson picked up his fourth for the Comets in the third overtime session.
Scoring-wise, they were unstoppable, ironically putting up similar numbers for their respective teams. They both scored 38 including 15 for each player in the overtime sessions. It was Hudson who had the final word though. It seemed like every time Albury and the Suns scored, he had an answer. Hudson kept the Comets in a game in which the lead never ballooned over seven points.
The Suns led 15-14 after the first quarter but the Comets closed the second on a 9-0 scoring run to take a 25-23 lead at the half. The game was ties at 39 after three, at 56 at the end of regulation, at 61 at the end of the first overtime, and again at 61 at the end of the second overtime as the Suns stalled, using up time off the clock. Both teams picked up the pace in the third overtime, but a winner still won’t be decided in that session as Garrett Edgecombe missed a driving lay-up for the Suns as time expired. That period ended with the score tied at 68. The Suns once again stalled a possession in the fourth overtime and couldn’t convert in the waning seconds as the score ended up tied at 68.
Action once again picked up in the fifth overtime and it would be the Comets who would take advantage of a critical foul with eight seconds left. Hudson buried one of two free shots to give his team the 77-76 victory. The game went back and forth throughout.
“It feels great. These guys worked hard over the summer and it’s paying off. Obviously I never been in a game like that, but it feels good to come out on the winning end. These guys are exhausted but I’m sure they feel much better with the win than they would if we had lost,” said Comets’ Head Coach Dwayne Smith. “Much respect to Temple Christian. They’ve been working as well, and that is what it takes for basketball to go to the next level in this country. In the end, it came down to heart and who wanted it more. I guess my boys proved that they wanted it just a bit more than Temple Christian did tonight.”
Nathan Allen had 14 points for the Comets before fouling out and Dion Davis dropped in 11. A total of four players fouled out in the game – two for each team.
“It was just a battle of will power,” said Suns’ Head Coach Jammal Smith. “I felt like my team left it all out there on the floor and just came up short. We played our absolute hardest and we just had a call down the stretch that didn’t go our way. That’s a very tough way to lose. I can’t knock QC at all. They brought everything they had and they fought hard just like we did. I’m extremely proud of my boys. There’s no doubt that fatigue played a factor down the stretch. I just tried to manage the possessions as best as I could and It boiled down to us fouling on almost every possession in that last overtime session. We fought and that’s all I could ask for from my boys. Going forward into Hugh Campbell, we’re going to be even more locked in and ready to go.”
Both coaches said that there were no quit in their teams. They were prepared to go another five overtimes if they needed to. In total, 47 minutes of thrilling basketball was played – 32 in regulation and 15 in the extra sessions.
“Both teams worked hard but there could only be one winner,” said Smith. “Everyone was getting tired. We were tired and I’m sure they were tired too, and one of my players was actually cramping up a lot. I just told them to stick in there and keep fighting and that’s what they did. It feels good to come out on top,” he said.
Behind Albury, Christian Sturrup had 13 for the Suns and Edgecombe dropped in 12.
“The energy and the atmosphere was electric and that’s how it should be for a game of this magnitude,” said Smith. “The school came out and supported us and we’re appreciative for that. It’s disappointing that we don’t get to leave with a win but we just have to continue to work hard and continue to get better.”
It certainly won’t get any easier for the Comets as they will find a hungry Giants team waiting for them in the finals which get underway on Thursday. The two teams met in the championship series in 2014 and again in 2015 with the Comets winning in 2014 and the Giants winning in 2015. This one is for all the marbles.
SAC 43, Falcons 42
The St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine placed their second girls team in the best-of-three finals, sneaking past the Jordan Prince William Falcons in a close game, 43-42.
Rachel Rolle led a balanced scoring attack for SAC. She dropped in 10, Jade Brown contributed nine, and M’Kayla White added eight. Karolyn Baptiste scored seven.
Brianna Stevens had a game-high 20 for the Falcons. Tareka Williams was prolific as well, dropping in 16.
In a game that was close throughout, the Falcons led 12-8 after the first quarter, only to see SAC storm ahead 19-14 at the half. SAC still led, 25-24, at the end of three and held off a resilient Falcons team in the fourth.
They will move on to play the pennant-winning St. John’s College Giants in the championship series which will get underway on Thursday at the Kendal Isaacs Gym.
Falcons 47, Saints 44
The Jordan Prince William Falcons made sure that they were going to get at least one team in the BAISS best-of-three finals as they defeated the Kingsway Academy Saints, 47-44, yesterday.
Michael Johnson paced the Falcons with 11 points. Devonte Allen scored 10, and Adrian Walkes and Janard Fisher dropped in six apiece.
The Saints were led by a game-high 14 from Shabazz Hinds. Jehroh MacIntosh scored 12, Ogdan Aranha had nine and Anfernee Hanna scored six.
The score was tied at 13 at the end of the first quarter and the Falcons took a 25-23 lead at the half. They continued to lead 34-32 at the end of the three quarters and got some clutch shooting down the stretch to preserve the victory.
The Falcons will move on to play the pennant-winning Queen’s College Comets in the championship series which will get underway on Thursday at the Kendal Isaacs Gym.
Giants 35, Falcons 33
The St. John’s College Giants will have three teams in the BAISS best-of-three finals which get underway on Thursday.
They placed their third team in the finals yesterday when their junior girls held off the Jordan Prince William Falcons, 35-33, at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.
Rhema Collins led the Giants with 13 points. Taneisha Seymour added nine including a huge three-pointer in the fourth quarter, and Johneisha Nixon dropped in seven.
Veronaye Charlton had a game-high 17 for the Falcons. Trinity Bodie added seven, and Fantasia Newbold scored five.
The Giants will advance to play the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine in the championship series which gets underway on Thursday at the Kendal Isaacs gym.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting