For the fifth straight year there will be a New Providence-Grand Bahama matchup in the Hugh Campbell Basketball Tournament final that is set to start tonight at 9 p.m. at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
Representing New Providence will be the C.C. Sweeting Cobras who got their first win in four attempts against the defending champions, the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, in a 62-58 stunner yesterday afternoon at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.
Representing Grand Bahama will be the Sunland Baptist Academy Stingers who dominated the St. George’s Jaguars 41-27 to punch their ticket into the finals.
The Cobras will be going for its sixth Hugh Campbell title after being the top-seed in Pool 4. They last won the title in back-to-back fashion in 2015 and 2016.
With a win tonight they will be second on the all-time list behind the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons who have eight championships.
The Stingers are the top seed out of Pool 3. They will be attempting to lift their first Hugh Campbell trophy
This will be the second time the two teams face each other in the Hugh Campbell finals after facing them in 2016. The Stingers will look to get the better of the Cobras this time around.
Cobras 62, Mystic Marlins 58
The Cobras fought their way back to win this game after the Mystic Marlins went up by as much as 13 points with 2:52 remaining in the third quarter.
Leading the way for the Cobras was Rickey Moxey with a game high 17 points after only scoring six points in the first half.
Big man Haywood Seymour finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds in the game.
The Cobras Head Coach Wayde Watson said his team began to listen to him and trusted the system.
“The guys started to listen to me more and started to trust the system,” Watson said. They turned it up defensively. We made some mistakes early and they went up by 13 points, but we stuck with it. I told them to just be patient they will make that run.”
After the Cobras managed to cut the lead from 13 points to nine points at the end of the third quarter, with The Mystic Marlins leading 46-37, they had to find a way to get back in the game.
They found a way with a 13-0 run that ended with them taking a 58-53 lead on a La’Shaun Bassett layup with 1:11 remaining in the game.
In that stretch, Moxey gave them a 54-53 lead with 2:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. Team captain Christian Manace started that run when he hit two free throws with 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Cobras won the fourth quarter 25-12.
This is the first time that the Cobras have taken down their Government Secondary School Sports Association (GSSSA) counterparts after losing to them in the regular season and the playoffs.
“We never played them with our full team before this season. The first game we played them, we were missing our shooting guard. In the playoffs we were missing our power forward Rickey Moxey. I know for sure if our full team was there and that they were missing that 20-year-old player. I know that we had the ability to shut them down because they are a jumpshot shooting team,” Watson said.
Looking ahead, Watson said that he knows that the Stingers have some good players and like to get points in transition.
“ Well Juvens Loucious, Rolantae Knowles, Martie Davis and Oswald Meadows seem to be the heart of that team. They are very athletic and versatile, well coached and have a number of players off the bench; that is very good. They seem to get a lot of their points in penetration – fast break and transition points. We have to see how we can slow them down as much as possible. We have to be able to play defense and rotate in order to capitalize.
In addition, Watson said he knows that the team has size and he is confident that he can matchup with them.
Other than the Mystic Marlins, the Cobras’ road to the final included an undefeated run against C.V. Bethel Stingrays and the Gateway Christian Academy Eagles twice.
Stingers 41, Jaguars 27
The Stingers jumped out to a quick 10-1 lead with 1:29 remaining in the first quarter and never looked back as they coast their way to victory.
They never trailed in this game.
Oswald Meadows led the way for the Stingers as he finished with a game-high 12 points. Deandre Hield had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards in the win.
This is the fourth straight victory over the Jaguars this season. They defeated them in the Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association (GBSSAA) regular season and playoffs.
The Stingers Head Coach Jay Phillippe said his team stuck to the game plan.
“We came out with a game plan today. We understand that we played them four times already this year and we won those game. We wanted to see them shoot the basketball. They don’t have much good shooters so we wanted to stack the defense as far as the zone is concerned. Our game plan worked perfectly.”
The Jaguars had no player in double figures as Dion Storr finished with a team high seven points. Team captain Billy Michel finished with six points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
For Phillippe, he didn’t say much, but he will be playing against his old school tonight and will look to get the win against a physical Cobras team.
“ C.C. is my former school,” Philippe said. “I went to C.C. Sweeting; it is a very good story to play against my old school.
“We are going to regroup, have a good practice tomorrow and get ready for the championship.”
The Stingers, like the Cobras, will look to put their perfect record on the line tonight. Before taking down the Jaguars, they took down the Government High School Magic twice and Akhepran Academy.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism