Sports

Tabernacle Falcons advance to match for national crown

by: Shayne Stubbs, Sports Reporter - Published Monday, March 6, 2017

Just a week ago the Tabernacle Falcons and the CI Gibson Rattlers faced off in the Hugh Campbell Basketball Tournament’s championship game.

 

The Falcons survived a late fourth quarter run by the Rattlers and left the Kendal G.L Issacs Gymnasium in New Providence with its seventh Hugh Campbell Championship in school history.

 

Fast forward to this past Saturday night’s contest, here in Grand Bahama at the St. George’s Gymnasium.

 

This time, with a trip to the Bahamas National High School Basketball Championship game on the line, the result would be the same.

 

The three-ball was the Falcons’ weapon of choice in this one, as they used 14 three-pointers to defeat the Rattlers 78-50. The Falcons had five players in double-figure scoring, led by guard Desmond Butler, who registered 18 points (7-for-12 shooting), five assists and three steals. Butler also threw in four of those 14 Falcons’ three-pointers.

 

Franco Miller Jr poured in 15 points on 5-for-13 shooting and went three-for-seven from deep. Miller also dished out six assists and came away with two steals. Alfredo Brown (four threes) and Shyrone Kemp (nine rebounds), each amassad in 12 points. Seandre Todd added 10 points and drilled two three-pointers to his credit.

 

Asher Scavella turned in a 10 and 10 double/double (points and rebounds) but Deon’Ta Tinker was the high-point man for the Rattlers with 11 points.

 

The game began to slip away from the Rattlers in the opening stanza. They found themselves trailing the Falcons by 16 at the end of the first quarter. The Falcons led 26-10. Butler and Miller continued get good looks while setting their teammates up. The Falcons eventually entered halftime with a 20-point, 42-22 lead.

 

The Falcons lead continued to balloon in the second half where they led by 30 points midway through the fourth quarter.

 

The Falcons earned the night off Sunday and automatically advanced to tonight’s National Championship Game. Falcons’ head coach Kevin Clarke said the team is certainly ready.

 

“The guys are ready. As you could see, we’re clicking on all cylinders right now. We have one more to go, and we’ll be ready on Monday,” Clarke said after the game.

 

He also talked up Miller’s distribution of the basketball, which set up a lot of open looks for his teammates. He voiced once that continued positive things will happen.

 

It was also possible based on play-off format that the two teams could meet in the championship game.

 

The Rattlers were automatically placed in Sunday’s semifinal contest where awaited the winner of the St. George’s Jaguars and Jordan Prince William Falcons’ Sunday matinee.

 

In one of the feature games of the night, the Jordan Prince William Falcons survived an elimination scare over the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins.

 

Adam Johnson (10 points, seven rebounds, seven blocks) soared to save the day with a put back dunk that gave JPW a 37-36 lead with just 6.5 seconds left on the clock. The Marlins failed to convert on their final attempt, thus eliminating them from the tournament.

  

It was a close and physical game and JPW Falcons’ coach Ernest Saunders had to remind his players that patience would be key for them down the stretch.

 

“First of all, I told my guys we got to stay composed. We cannot play with anger and we cannot play with emotions. We have to know and stay within our system, and trust the system,” he related.

  

The win advanced JPW to face the St. George’s Jaguars on Sunday. The Jaguars meanwhile, moved on to Sunday with a 48-32 win over the Sunland Stingers Saturday evening.

  

The Stingers got off to a sluggish start and never recovered. The Jaguars held a 20-8 lead at halftime and simply never looked back. Ahmad Harvey turned in six points, to go with nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Kingcy Thompson led the charge in scoring with10 points, and Howard Hinzey turned in nine points coupled with eight rebounds.

 

Brandon Meadows finished with a game-high 13 points along with six rebounds.

 

In other scores from Saturday morning’s games at the St. George’s Gym, JPW eliminated the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves 40-33; the Mystic Marlins knocked off the Jack Hayward Wildcats 47-40; the Jaguars sent the Blue Jays home, 55-42 and the Rattlers defeated the Stingers 49-33.

 

In senior girls action at the Jack Hayward Gym’s morning session, the Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors ousted Mount Carmel 36-18; the Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays defeated Kingsway Academy 35-29; the Mystic Marlins defeated the JPW Falcons 24-21; the TBCA Falcons out-lasted the Rattlers 31-25.

 

During the evening session the Rattlers defeated the Warriors 42-39 and the JPW Falcons defeated the Blue Jays 38-30.

 

In the Family Island bracket, Central Eleuthera defeated Long Island 66-25 to end the morning session at the Jack Hayward Gym. During the evening session Abaco Central turned back Central Eleuthera 41-38 and Bimini took care of San Salvador 43-30.

 

PRESS TIME

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(In an eliminator contest on Sunday afternoon, St. George’s High school basketball team won against Jordan Prince Williams High School 68-63.  St. Georges was due to play against C.I Gibson on Sunday night in the actual semi-final to determine who faces the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons tonight in the national championship game. The game was not completed by press time. For the lead sports story and more pictures from the nationals, see page 20).

 

Published Monday, March 6, 2017 

 

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