The fourth edition of the Bahamas National High School Basketball Championships get underway today at the St. George’s High School Gymnasium and the Jack Hayward High School Gymnasium in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The tournament ends on Monday night with the championship games in both divisions at the St. George’s Gymnasium. It is held annually in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Ministry of Finance, the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) and the Island Luck Cares Foundation, and accommodates the top high school basketball teams, in both genders, in the country.
There will be 18 senior boys teams battling for the right to be called ‘National High School Champions’. The Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons are the defending champions.
In the girls senior division, there will be 10 teams vying for the coveted national championship title. This year, there will be a new champion as last year’s champions, the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, are not in attendance.
Also missing this year is the Family Island Division. Organizers say that budget restrictions won’t allow for a Family Island Division this year. They hope to bring it back in the future.
Looking to take down Tabernacle from Pool A are the top-seeded Doris Johnson team (New Providence), Jack Hayward (Grand Bahama), Queen’s College (New Providence), Government High School (New Providence), Eight Mile Rock High (Grand Bahama), C.C Sweeting (New Providence), Agape Christian (Abaco) and Jordan Prince Williams (New Providence).
The Mystic Marlins are the 2019 Hugh Campbell Champions and the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) Champions. C.C. Sweeting reached the final four at the Hugh Campbell Classic and was also a playoff team in the GSSSA. The other schools are expected to be formidable as well.
In Pool A at 3 p.m. today, the Jack Hayward Wildcats will take on Queen’s College. After that game, Government High will play Eight Mile Rock. Both games will be played at the St. George’s Gymnasium. Doris Johnson will hit the court at 9 p.m. when they take on the winner of the Jack Hayward/Queen’s College game. That game will be played at the Jack Hayward Gymnasium.
In Pool B are St. George’s High School (Grand Bahama), Gateway Christian Academy (Bimini), St. John’s College (New Providence), C.I. Gibson (New Providence), Temple Christian School (New Providence), Sunland Baptist Academy (Grand Bahama), Teleos Christian (New Providence), Anatol Rodgers High School (New Providence) and Patrick J. Bethel High School (Abaco).
It will not be an easy road to the championship round for St. George’s. St. John’s College is the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) Champions, Anatol Rodgers came within a game of the GSSSA title and was one win away from getting to the Hugh Campbell championship game, and C.I Gibson, under Head Coach Kevin “KJ” Johnson, is always a force to reckon with.
The first game of Pool B, last year’s Family Island Division winner Gateway Academy takes on St. John’s at the St. George’s Gymnasium. That game will be played at 1 p.m. C.I. Gibson plays Temple Christian at 2 p.m., and St. George’s will host the winner of the Gateway/St. John’s game at 9 p.m. All three games will be played at the St. George’s Gymnasium.
The girls side only has one pool and will feature C.I. Gibson, St. John’s College, St. George’s, St. Augustine’s College (New Providence), C.V. Bethel Senior High School (New Providence), Bishop Michael Eldon School (Grand Bahama), Anatol Rodgers, Tabernacle, Eight Mile Rock, Jordan Prince William and Teleos Christian Academy.
In the first game, Bishop Michael Eldon will face off against Anatol Rodgers. That game is expected to get underway at 2:30 p.m. C.V. Bethel will go head-to-head with Tabernacle at 3:30 p.m.
In the feature game of the night, St. John’s will play the winner of the Bishop Michael Eldon/Anatol Rodgers game.
The tournament is sanctioned by the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
It is a double elimination tournament until the pool championships and the championship game.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism