The private school champions didn’t let yesterday’s big news of both the C.I. Gibson Rattlers and the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons missing this year’s Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic disrupt their focus on opening day of the 37th annual tournament yesterday.
The Queen’s College Comets doubled up the Galilee Academy Miracles, 44-22, in their tournament opener yesterday evening at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium. A total of 22 teams are in action this year with the Rattlers missing the tournament for the first time in over 30 years and the Falcons pulling out for the first time since the majority of the Grand Bahamian schools abandoned the 2011 tournament.
Be that as it may, Comets Head Coach Reuben Mounts Jr. said that his boys are here to play, as evident with their demolishing of Galilee Academy yesterday. The Comets, who swept the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine in the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) senior boys basketball championship two games to none last week, got off to a strong start in their game against Galilee Academy yesterday and never looked back.
The Comets were ahead 6-3 at the end of the first quarter, and really opened it up in the second as they raced to a comfortable 26-6 margin at the half. They led 38-13 after three, and coasted to victory in the fourth.
“I felt that my boys were a little rusty to tell you the truth,” said Mounts yesterday. “We’re coming off an emotional win in BAISS, and so we just wanted to get back in the swing of things. We’re always trying to win. I want them to play at a high level and be able to sustain that level of competition throughout.”
With the Rattlers and Falcons out of the tournament, the Comets are suddenly one of the favorites to win the title. They along with defending Hugh Campbell Champions and Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) Champions Doris Johnson, Grand Bahama Secondary Schools Athletic Association (GBSSAA) runner-up Sunland Baptist and GSSSA playoff team C.C. Sweeting now head the four pools. The championship game is set for Monday night.
“I’m a little disappointed to tell you the truth. They (Rattlers and Falcons) are two of the top teams and they are always prepared to play,” said Mounts yesterday. “For us, it’s not so much where we end up. We just want to represent ourselves and the school in the best possible way. Once we stay within ourselves, play defense, rebound the ball and raise our level of physicality, we like our chances. We believe we will fare pretty good in this tournament.”
Dondre Saunders paced the Comets with nine points, three assists and two steals yesterday. Kendal Sands and team captain Nathan Allen had eight apiece, and Wanya McCoy added six. Frederick Moxey led Galilee with a game-high 10 points. Quintin Rutherford added five and Anthony Rolle chipped in with four.
In the first game yesterday, the Mt. Carmel Cavaliers got past the Kingsway Academy Saints, 54-44. Shemer Easy had a game-high 21 for the Cavaliers, and added five steals, three rebounds and three assists. Antanel Pierre was their only other player in double figures with 13, and added eight rebounds. Dustin Storr scored seven points and pulled down nine rebounds. Jehroh McIntosh paced the Saints with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals. Ogden Aranah added nine points, five rebounds and two steals. Shabazz Hinds contributed eight points and three rebounds.
In the third game of the day yesterday, the Government High School (GHS) Magic blasted the Charles W. Saunders Cougars, 74-30. Dimargio Taylor outscored the Cougars by his lonesome with a game-high 32 points. Alexander Alteme was their only other player in double figures with 10, and Samuel Gibson added nine. Jordan Saunders had eight points for the Cougars, Julian Thompson chipped in with six, and Lamont McPhee added five.
In the fourth and final game of the evening, the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves made quick work of the R.M. Bailey Pacers, winning easily, 51-21. Nicholas Jones had a game-high 18 points for the Timberwolves. George Schurton and Kevin Thompson added eight apiece and Davito McIntosh contributed seven. Devaughn Fleurme and Marcus Daxon had six apiece for the Pacers. Ashad Sands dropped in four.
Hugh Campbell action will continue today with four more games on the schedule. The four Grand Bahama teams will begin play on Wednesday.