FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – It was the St. John’s College Giants who jumped out to an early 20-8 lead to be labeled the best senior girls high school team after they defeated the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine 56-44 in the senior girls division at the 2019 National High School Basketball Championships at the St. George’s High School Gymnasium last night.
This is their second trophy of the year after winning the senior girls division in the 2019 Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools, defeating none other than SAC.
SAC jumped out to an early 6-0 lead before the Giants took control of the first quarter and ended it on a 20-2 run.
For the Giants, Michelle Butler was a force to reckon with as she had a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. She was not the only one with a double-double for the Giants, as Christina Richardson posted a stat line of 15 points and 11 boards.
Butler, who is in the eleventh grade, said: “I know that my team depended on me to get the rebounds so I had to get up there. We were struggling early with the scoring and the team depended on me with scoring too. When I saw I made a few buckets my teams made some too and we started to get on our offensive flow and we played our game the rest of the year.”
For SAC, Antonicia Moultrie led the way with a game-high 23 points and 18 rebounds. She was the only SAC player to score in double digits.
By the half, Richardson and Butler had nine and eight points respectively. SAC had 18 turnovers by the half and 31 points.
Reggie Forbes, SAC’s head coach, knew his team had 18 turnovers.
“We had never started a game like that in the history of this team. We had 18 turnovers in the first half compared to St. John’s four. We were struggling from the line. That was the difference in who wanted the game,” Forbes said.
In the third quarter, SAC came within seven points after Rachel Rolle made a layup with 2:18 remaining. The score was 37-30.
The quarter ended 41-34 with the Giants up and looking to steal the game.
SAC players controlled the beginning of the fourth quarter when they went on a 10-3 run after Moultrie split a pair of free throws with 2:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Oswaldo Taylor, head coach for the Giants, said: “We went in the zone defense. They were really getting past our 2-2-1 defense that caused us to get into some foul trouble. The team was in foul trouble, all the starters. I had to pull them out in the middle of the third quarter. So they had fresh legs in the fourth quarter and were focused.”
The Giants went on a 12-2 run to end the fourth quarter and to eventually win the game 56-44.
“It feels amazing. I want to thank my teammates because without them, it would not have been possible. Most of our team is in grade 11 so I am looking forward to playing with them again next year and doing the same thing,” Butler said.
Both teams had 14 steals, but the Giants outrebounded SAC 57-45. The Giants had 26 points off of SAC’s turnovers.
It was a great end to the Giants’ season and with a young team they have a chance to repeat next year.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism