All season long, the St. John’s College Giants have been a thorn in the side of the Queen’s College (QC) Comets in senior boys basketball, and yesterday was no different, as they resumed their rivalry which culminated at the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) championships this season.
After the Comets cut a 15-point lead to just six at the start of the fourth quarter, the Giants answered with a 12-3 run to push their lead back to double digits, and they cruised the rest of the way to remain undefeated through three games of The Bahamas’ leg of the ‘Caribbean Kings’ Inter-Caribbean High School Basketball Tournament. They defeated the Comets 70-59 for their third straight win in the tournament, currently ongoing at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.
The Giants went on to play the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves last night, for a chance to represent The Bahamas in the inter-Caribbean classic, but the result of that featured game was unavailable up to press time. The two finalists from The Bahamas’ leg of the classic will go on to represent the country in the regional segment, featuring teams from Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, Haiti and Jamaica.
The winner of last night’s game between the Giants and the Timberwolves would have earned an automatic qualifying spot in the regional leg of the tournament. The Timberwolves advanced to that game with a 68-65 victory over the C.C. Sweeting Cobras earlier in the day. Kevin Thompson paced the Timberwolves with 13 points, and Jermaine Mackey added 10. Anthon Williams had a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds for the Cobras, and Ethan Munnings added 10 points and nine boards.
As for the game between the Giants and the Comets, the Giants controlled the tempo throughout, particularly on the defensive side which allowed them to push the ball up the court and created opportunities for them in transition.
“It’s good to be undefeated so far, but we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to get to,” said Giants’ Head Coach Duery Edgecombe. “We are still trying to find ourselves, especially defensively. We just have to continue to work. There are quality teams in this tournament and we would love to have the opportunity to represent The Bahamas but we have to continue to work. It’s not going to be easy, but once we come out here with a defensive mindset and work hard on that side of the ball, I think that we’ll be okay. I like our chances.”
The Giants got a side-high 19 points from Jordan Maycock before he fouled out at the beginning of the fourth quarter yesterday. Tyrese Porter and Seth Fountain dropped in 15 apiece, and Voushaun Bullard added nine points and nine rebounds. Immanuel Carey scored seven points and had 10 rebounds.
Dre Hudson paced the Comets with a game-high 32 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. He also dished out four assists and had three steals. Nathan Allen was their next highest scorer with 16 points and added five rebounds. No other player scored more than five for the Comets.
“We played a lil timid today and that caused us. We’re a young team and we competed, but it just wasn’t there today,” said Hudson. “Once we continue to practice and work hard, we’ll be okay.”
The Comets will now go in the loser’s bracket and try to battle themselves back up the ladder to have an opportunity to represent The Bahamas in the inter-Caribbean classic.
“Our guys started playing hard down the stretch but by that time it was too late. St. John’s has a strong team, and they brought it today,” said Comets’ Head Coach Dwayne Smith. “We feel like we are right there. We just have to practice consistently and keep working hard, and we’ll get there.”
Itv was a wire-to-wire victory for the Giants yesterday. After they opened a nine-point lead in the first quarter, the closest the Comets got was 21-19 in the second. The Giants were ahead 18-13 after the first quarter, and 33-23 at the break. They remained ahead 48-42 at the end of three quarters, and led by as much as 18 in the fourth, before coasting to the easy win.
The Comets gave the Giants their only loss in the BAISS regular season, but the Giants swept them in two games in the best-of-three BAISS Championships, and then easily handled them yesterday.
As for the Caribbean Kings’ Inter-Caribbean High School Basketball Tournament, the opening ceremony is set for Thursday evening at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium. The championship game, along with a three-point competition and a slam dunk competition, is set for Saturday evening.
A total of eight countries from around the region will battle for the title of “High School Basketball Kings of the Caribbean”. The other Caribbean teams will arrive in The Bahamas today, and play for them will get underway tomorrow.
The junior regional classic is being staged by the Street Legends Organization.