The St. John’s College Giants senior boys saved the best for last, executing a run of epic proportions in the fourth quarter last night to stun the Queen’s College Comets. They came from 17 points down in the second half, from 13 back in the fourth quarter, to win 53-49, taking the opening game of the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) best-of-three championship at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National
Gymnasium. The Giants were victorious in senior girls play as well as they defeated the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine, 38-31, to take a 1-0 lead in that best-of-three championship series. In the junior boys division, the Jordan Prince William Falcons turned back the Comets, 40-32, to claim the upper hand in that series, and SAC junior girls held off the Giants, 30-29, to win the opening game in that series.
Giants 53, Comets 49
The St. John’s College Giants’ offense finally woke up in the fourth quarter last night. On the strength of a 15-0 scoring run to open the fourth, they claimed their first lead since the second quarter, and then executed down the stretch to record a stunning victory. They glided past the Queen’s College (QC) Comets, 53-49, at the Kendal Isaacs Gym to take a 1-0 lead in the BAISS senior boys basketball championship series. Game two is set for this evening.
The Giants’ offense was lackluster and putrid for much of the game, and defensively, they struggled to guard the perimeter. However, a three-point shot from Denaje Rolle at the beginning of the fourth gave them some much needed life. Following that, two successive turnovers by the Comets resulted into transition baskets by the Giants.
Point guard Adon Beckford provided a spark for the Giants. His pressure defense forced a turnover and an ensuing three-point play enabled St. John’s to cut the lead to five, 44-39. Moments later, the Giants forced another turnover in the Comets’ backcourt, and another three-point play, this time from Torres Basden, trimmed the lead to a single basket. Basden rose up for a short bank shot in the lane and was fouled on the play. His free shot with 6:57 remaining in the fourth enabled the Giants to pull within two points, 44-42. The Giants kept up the intensity and scored four more points before the Comets finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth.
The Comets pulled even at 46 after the Giants took the lead, but St. John’s ended the game on a 7-3 run to record the victory. Overall, the Giants scored 15 unanswered just a minute and 32 seconds into the fourth that completely changed the trajectory of the game. Giants’ Head Coach Duery Edgecombe said he never lost faith in his team.
“We understood that QC were playing off energy, and we just had to match that. We went into a mental lapse and we had to battle out of that. I just told the guys to calm down and play basketball the way we know how to. Once we started to get stops on the defensive end, we were able to get back in the game,” said Edgecombe after a thrilling victory last night. They now find themselves just a win away from winning their first BAISS senior boys basketball title since 2015. “We have to come out from the break and play Giants’ basketball. We have to stay disciplined and start hitting some shots. We started hitting shots in the fourth quarter tonight and you could see how the game change. Also, the best player on the court, Tyrese Porter, decided to start playing and as a team we responded. I told him that he is his own worst enemy. As he go, we go. He has to come out and set the pace and the others will follow. He finally decided to do that in the fourth quarter tonight.”
After a shaky first half, Porter came to life. He scored 13 of his side-high 18 points in the second half. Basden added 11, and Rolle finished seven. Jordan Maycock scored six, and Beckford added five.
Nathan Allen hit five three-pointers in the game and scored a game-high 19 for the Comets. Keithwood Stubbs finished with 11, and Dion Davis finished with five. After erupting for 38 in their sudden death playoff victory over the Temple Christian Suns, Dre Hudson was held to just four for the Comets last night. Gireson Gelin and Avery Sumner also added four each for the Comets.
“QC is a really good team. Number 11 (Allen) has been shooting the ball like that all season so they really didn’t catch us off guard. We just weren’t matching their intensity,” said Edgecombe. “We had a lot of defensive lapses, particularly in the first half, and they shot the ball pretty good so they were able to open a big lead. I always knew that we had the ability to come back – we just had to start playing basketball the way we knew how to.”
A 7-0 run in the first quarter gave the Giants a 9-2 early in the game, but the Comets battled back, pulling to within 12-11, after one. The Giants went into a lull at the start of the second quarter as they couldn’t get anything to fall. Maycock was throwing up blanks from the three-point land and they couldn’t penetrate the Comets’ defense. The Giants went scoreless for the first five minutes of the second quarter as the Comets stormed ahead 19-12. Led by Allen who buried three treys in the second quarter, the Comets kept the pressure on. They built a 15-point lead the half, 31-16.
The Giants got to within 10 at one point in the third, but behind nine third-quarter points from Stubbs, the Comets maintained momentum. The Comets took a 44-31 lead into the fourth. Finally, the Giants’ defense came alive in the fourth. They fed off that 15-0 run at the beginning of the fourth and rode that momentum to victory. The Giants’ defense held the Comets to just five fourth-quarter points, three of which came on a desperation three-point shot with just five seconds left on the clock.
Game two is set for this evening at the Kendal Isaacs gym.
Giants 38, SAC 31
The St. John’s College Giants senior girls are just one win away from an undefeated season.
They defeated the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine, 38-31, yesterday and can wrap up the series in a two-game sweep this evening.
Christinna Richardson paced Giants with nine points. Calvinique Spence added eight, and Tianna Gordon and Sideya Hilaire scored five apiece. Laquon Sands added four.
Rachel Rolle scored a game-high 15 points for SAC. Jade Brown contributed eight and Karolyn Baptiste scored four.
The Giants led just 6-5 after the opening quarter, but extended that lead to 20-13 at the half. They continued to keep the pressure on in the third quarter, outscoring SAC 14-9, to take a 34-22 lead after three. SAC tried to battle back ion the fourth, but it was too little too late for them.
St. John’s held on for the comfortable win and are now just a win away from a perfect season. Game two is set for this evening at the Kendal Isaacs Gym.
Falcons 40, Comets 32
After breezing through the regular season, the pennant-winning Queen’s College Comets junior boys are on the ropes. The Jordan Prince William Falcons stunned them yesterday, winning 40-32.
Michael Johnson paced the Falcons with a game-high 18 points. Davontae Allen scored seven, and Tayshawn Wallace dropped in five.
Malik Pierre scored 13 for the Comets. Ahmad Evans added nine and Leonardo Burrows dropped in five.
The Falcons came out of the gate strong, taking a 8-5 lead after the opening quarter, but the Comets battled back in the second. They went ahead 17-14 at the half. The third quarter is when the Falcons really made their mark and turned the game in their favor. They outscored the Comets, 16-5, in the third to take a 30-22 lead into the fourth and final period. The Falcons kept the pressure on in the fourth, and held off the Comets for the victory.
Game two is set for today at the Kendal Isaacs Gym.
SAC 30, Giants 29
The first game of the BAISS best-of-three championships on Thursday turned out to be the most competitive as the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine used every bit of energy they had to come back in the second half and then hold off the St. John’s College Giants, 30-29.
Sammeka Hepburn scored a dozen points to lead the Big Red Machine who actually came into the playoffs this year as the fourth seeded team. Antonicia Moultrie added eight, and Ajani Culmer scored six.
Rhema Collins and Johneisha Nixon paced the Giants with seven points apiece. Taneisha Seymour and Jazmine Roker added five apiece.
SAC led 8-7 after the opening quarter, but was held to just one point in the second as the Giants took a 15-9 lead at the break. SAC battled back to even the game at 20 heading into the fourth and final period. It turned out to be a battle of will power at the end, and SAC held on, 30-29, to win the opening game of the best-of-three championship series.
Game two is set for today at the Kendal Isaacs gym.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting