As day four of the 37th annual Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic progressed on Thursday at the A.F. Adderley Junior High School Gymnasium, teams started falling by the wayside one by one, getting eliminated from tournament play. A total of eight of the 28 teams were eliminated on Thursday, leaving 20 to go after the coveted Hugh Campbell title this weekend.
In the final game of the second session of play, the Zion Christian Academy Eagles sent Akhepran International Academy home, winning 23-20, in a low-scoring game.
In other games on Thursday, the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves turned back the Agape Christian Eagles, 60-44; the Jack Hayward Wildcats defeated the Prince William Falcons, 53-44; the tournament’s second seed St. George’s Jaguars defeated the Teleos Christian Cherubims, 39-27; the C.C. Sweeting Cobras demolished the Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays, 57-44; Gateway Academy, out of Bimini, slammed the Mt. Carmel Prep Cavaliers, 48-29; Patrick J. Bethel, out of Abaco, beat C.W. Saunders, 55-23; and the St. John’s College Giants stayed alive by knocking off Central Eleuthera High, 57-38.
For the Zion Christian Academy Eagles, Head Coach Wellington Smith said it’s just about maintaining their momentum from their league’s regular season and carrying that over into the Hugh Campbell Classic. The Eagles were one of the top teams in the Bahamas Scholastic Association (BSA) this year.
In the lowest-scoring game of the tournament so far, they were ahead just 4-2 after the opening quarter, and tied at nine with Akhepran International at the half. Zion Christian Academy fell behind 12-11 at the end of three, and then finally got some offense going with 12 points in the final period to win, 23-20.
“I’m not impressed, but thank God for the victory,” said Smith. “In our regular season, we have a 13-1 record, so we’re used of playing much better than what we showed today. I can’t explain what happened today. I think we count this team out because we beat them twice already for the year, but this just shows that you have to come ready to play each and every day. We played C.I. Gibson and Anatol Rodgers in a Christmas tournament, and in that tournament we played pretty well. Also, we lost to St. George’s by five points, and that is one of the top teams in the country. For some reason, we just didn’t come prepared to play tonight. We have to fix that.”
No player scored in double figures for either side yesterday, and both teams were awful from the floor. The Eagles were 11-for-34, shooting 32.4 percent, while Akhepran International was a woeful 8-for-44, shooting just 18.2 percent.
Akeem Ellis paced the Eagles with a game-high eight points and added a dozen rebounds. Antivan McFarland scored seven, pulled down three boards, dished out two assists and had two steals. Four other players had a basket each for the Eagles.
Akhepran International was led by five points apiece from Deshawn Oliver and Alvinado Parker. Oliver added six rebounds and two steals, and Parker had four rebounds and three steals. Marleek Storr had four points and three rebounds.
“I have to try and get these guys motivated to play basketball. As it stands right now, it doesn’t appear that they are in the mood,” said Smith. “We have to realize that we live to see another day. We have another team to prepare for, and if we want to go further in this tournament we have to come out here and play much better than we did today.”
Zion Christian will move on to play the Queen’s College Comets in an elimination contest this afternoon. Action resumes at 10 a.m. this morning.