Harrison College and Graydon Sealy are kings of the United Insurance-Sponsored Secondary Schools Under-19 Basketball Competition.
Playing yesterday in the Division One final at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, Harrison College won 57-55 over Barbados Community College in a hard- fought encounter, while Graydon Sealy got the better of Lester Vaughan 64-55 in an exciting Division Two final.
In their Division One battle the first quarter saw Harrison College’s point guard Joel Hunte scoring 15 points including a deft three-pointer to get his team on the scoreboard almost immediately after the jump ball.
Hunte benefited from poor marking at the start of the game and scored the first nine points for Harrison College as they led 12 to 11 going into the second quarter.
When the second half resumed both teams tried to maintain ball possession and point guard Nikolai Burton turned up for Harrison College scoring six points in that quarter and ended on a game-high 21 points. Community College’s forward Ammuniki Wood was in on the action throughout the game for his team. Wood top-scored in the second quarter with seven points and an overall 18 points in a losing cause. The second quarter ended with the scores locked at 24-24.
It was game on for both sides in the third quarter and Harrison College’s captain Runacko Boyce scored to give them a two point lead at the beginning of the second half.
Community College’s forward Antoine Morris who scored 13 points along with forward Kyle Hinkson who also scored 13, played energetic basketball on both ends of the court to keep their side in the contest but Harrison College withstood the assault to have the advantage going into the last and decisive quarter with the scores at 40-34.
With a six points lead going into the final period, Harrison College tried to keep the score ticking over but Community College came out even hungrier for the win and played with lots of aggression. With three minutes to go the scores were locked at 47 apiece. It was at this stage that Burton showed his true mettle.
He has been their outstanding player throughout the tournament and he would not let not down Harrison College when it matter most. He let fire a long range three-pointer which found nothing but the bottom of the net to give Harrison College the lead which they held on to until the final whistle blew. It was celebration time for all on Crumpton Street.
Meanwhile Graydon Sealy withstood some early pressure from a game Lester Vaughan to snatch the Division Two title with their 64-55 victory.
In the match that preceded the Division One final, it came down to a situation of Graydon Sealy having more firepower at their disposal than the Cane Garden, St Thomas lads.
The foursome of Andrew Ifill, Justin Pile, Shaquan Newton and Amal Smith have posed headaches for opposing teams the entire tournament and today’s final was no different. But they were made to bring their “A” game by Lester Vaughan’s explosive talent, Brandon Hope. Hope was able to knife his way through Graydon Sealy’s defence on numerous occasions and coupled with his soft touch on the jumper provided such an offensive impetus that at the half-time break Lester Vaughan were actually leading the contest at 28-24. But there was no way Hope was going to beat Graydon Sealy on his own and with the exception of Zachary Cave, Hope’s offensive assistance was too inconsistent.
Graydon Sealy, with their boisterous supporters inclusive of principal Matthew Farley cheering them on, turned up the heat on both offensive and defensive ends with Ifill leading the way.
Defensive hustle led to turnovers and with Graydon Sealy cashing in on these stops, they quickly erased Lester Vaughan’s lead and maintained control of the game onwards. However, Lester Vaughan never allowed them to totally run away with the game.
Ifill led the way with 17 points, while Pile chipped in with 15, as did Newton. Smith completed the four- pronged offensive assault with 13 points.
Hope had a game-high 22 points with Cave contributing 12. In the end it was Graydon Sealy’s defence that won them the game as a hefty number of their points came from defensive stops, especially in the final quarter.