Coming off what was their most productive year in basketball in school history, one can only imagine what the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins will do for an encore.
Their senior boys won five basketball titles during the 2018/19 school year, including the coveted Hugh Campbell basketball title. They were the “bridemaids” five years ago, losing to perennial champions, the C.I. Gibson Rattlers in the championship game, but this past season, the Mystic Marlins graduated with honors, taking no prisoners at the annual senior boys basketball showcase in the capital island of New Providence.
They also won the Agape Christian School Preseason Tournament, the Providence Christmas Holiday Classic, the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) title and the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Easter Classic in Orlando, Florida. The Mystic Marlins intermediate boys won the 1st D.W. Davis Preseason Tournament and the 1st Bahamas Scholastic Association (BSA) Postseason Tournament, and finished second in the Agape Christian School Preseason Tournament and the Fr. Marcian Peters Basketball Classic.
The Mystic Marlins are losing a number of seniors to graduation, but Head Coach Denykco Bowles believes that with the athletes they have returning, they will be competitive and able to give a good showing in defense of a number of their titles.
“There are some guys who are coming back who have that experience. We are going to be looking for them to step up into that leadership role and lead this team,” he said. “There are other guys who will be coming in, and it is my job as a coach to steer them in the right direction. It is my job to make them experience just as much success as we experienced this past year or even more. We’re going to get the ball rolling pretty early, and in any event, we are going to be ready for an exciting year. We have a number of titles to defend and we are looking forward to doing that successfully.”
The Hugh Campbell title is one of the more prestigious high school basketball championships in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The Mystic Marlins had come close before, but this was the first time that they were able to get over the hump and take the “whole hog”, defeating the St. George’s Jaguars, 84-75, in double overtime.
Led by Senior Captain Malachi McCoy, who is also the school’s head boy, the Mystic Marlins scored the final nine points of the second overtime session to outlast the Jaguars in the Hugh Campbell championship game.
“This is like a brotherhood. I’m really going to miss these guys, but I just have to pray to God that He continues to give us the vision to go out there and pursue our dreams. I’m sure we will have a good team coming back next year, and they will do well in defending our titles. I wish them well,” said McCoy.
Clinton Brennen, a 10th grade point guard, knows that he and the returning members of the team have huge shoes to fill. He said that they are indeed ready for the challenge.
“There is some pressure on us, but I think we will be able to live up to it if we continue to work hard, particularly over the summer,” he said. “You are suppose to work hard over the summer, grow and develop as a player, so that will be my intention. There is always going to be pressure, but you just have to rise above it and do what you have to do.”
The Mystic Marlins went on to the Bahamas National High School Basketball Championships following Hugh Campbell, and came up short in capturing a trifecta of championships in local high school basketball – their local league title (GSSSA), Hugh Campbell and the national title. The national title was the only one of the three which eluded them.
Bowles assured that the nationals would be high on their agenda for the 2019-2020 season. It certainly wouldn’t be easy as the Rattlers, the C.C. Sweeting Cobras and the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves are expected to be formidable again, as well as teams such as the Jaguars, the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons and the Jack Hayward Wildcats out of Freeport, Grand Bahama.
The team out of Fox Hill has a lot of work to do to prove that the 2018/19 season was not a fluke.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting