Hugh Campbell classic gets underway

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Falcons dominate Saints in matchup of BAISS playoff teams; action continues today

Sheldon LongleySend an emailFebruary 21, 2023 106 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 A Temple Christian Suns player goes up for a shot during their game against the R.M. Bailey Pacers, on the first day of the 2023 Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic, at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium on Monday. The Suns defeated the Pacers, 51-49.

Day one of the 2023 Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic is in the books, and whereas there were no major upsets, a game between two playoff teams in the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) turned out to be a complete one-sided affair as the Jordan Prince William High Falcons flew away from the Kingsway Academy Saints.

A 20-1 scoring run covering the second and third quarters allowed the Falcons to pull away from the bewildered Saints last night, winning 76-49 at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.

The Saints were competitive early, taking a 9-8 lead at the 2:57 mark of the opening quarter. However, that is when the Falcons got going defensively and offensively, and the Saints never recovered.

A couple of three-point shots from Kamari Minns highlighted the 

breakaway run for the Falcons. In total, they hit four three-point shots in the opening quarter, transforming a 9-8 deficit into a 19-10 lead after one. Much of the same continued in the second quarter, but this time, it would be the defense of the Falcons that took center stage. They forced a number of turnovers and converted them into easy transition baskets.

The stifling defense of the Falcons kept the Saints off the scoreboard altogether in the second quarter, and they stretched their lead to a commanding 38-10 cushion at the half.

Minns led the Falcons with 16 points last night. Jakayo Kemp added 13 and Ellery Lockhart and Barkley Cadet dropped in eight apiece. Evan Cartwright had a game-high 21 for the Saints. Rayjin Smith was their only other player in double figures with 11.

“I was pleased with the way we shot the ball tonight. The shooting was exceptional,” said Falcons’ Head Coach Ernest Saunders. “The guys shot the ball well and if we continue to shoot like that, we will be tough to beat. Also, the defensive intensity picked up, and that was the key for us. I knew once we play defense, the offense would feed off that and that is what happened tonight. I just believe we just need to be more disciplined in certain areas. We just need to come out and play our brand of basketball, and once we do that, we’ll be okay.”

The Falcons continued to thrive in the third quarter, pushing the lead to as much as 34 points in the third. They led 64-32 after three, and coasted the rest of the way.

The Saints gave the C.W. Saunders Cougars a push in their sudden death elimination playoff game in the BAISS while the Falcons rolled past the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine in the other sudden death playoff game. The Cougars swept the Falcons in the championship series.

The game last night was billed to be a thrilling and intense competition, but the Falcons ended that notion early. They stamped their authority on the game from midway through the first quarter. They were not going to be denied, dominating and moving into the winner’s circle at the Hugh Campbell tournament. It doesn’t get any easier for them as they will face the Jack Hayward High Wildcats out of Freeport, Grand Bahama, in their next game. That game is slated for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Kendal Isaacs gym.

“We know that we’re going to meet tougher opponents starting Wednesday, but we’re not focused on that. We’re just focused on what we need to do. I know that once we stick to our defensive strategy, we’ll be fine,” said Saunders last night.

In the opening game of the Hugh Campbell tournament, the Temple Christian Suns squeezed past the R.M. Bailey Pacers, 51-49. Also yesterday, the C.V. Bethel Stingrays held off the Queen’s College Comets, 41-36.

Action at the 2023 Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic continues today. The Grand Bahama and Family Island teams begin play on Wednesday.

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