Monday, February 4, 2019
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
After a hard-fought season and the remaining semi-final completed over the weekend, the GSSSA moves into the championship series in all four divisions today at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
The Senior Boys division will feature the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins versus the CI Gibson Rattlers while the Senior Girls will feature the Rattlers against the CV Bethel Stingrays.
The DW Davis Royals and CH Reeves and TA Thompson Scorpions will face off in the Junior Girls Division.
The first series of games will tipoff at 4pm.
Both junior division champions (the Royals and Lions) look to repeat in their respective divisions, while we’re assured of new title holders in both senior divisions.
The 2018 champions were HO Nash in the junior girls, DW Davis in the junior boys, Doris Johnson in the senior girls and Anatol Rodgers in the senior boys.
The Mystic Marlins Senior Boys were the final team to clinch their spot in the final with a 54-42 win over the Timberwolves Saturday night.
Malachi McCoy led the way with 15 points while Janus Shephered scored 14. The Mystic Marlins went through the regular season undefeated en route to winning the pennant, but were upset in game one of the semifinals. They recovered to take a 54-50 win in game two and force a third and deciding game in the series.
The Rattlers Senior Boys concluded a two-game sweep over the defending champion CC Cobras with a 67-51 win Friday night.
The 2019 series will be a renewed chapter in the rivalry between the Mystic Marlins and the Rattlers. The programmes will meet to decide the Senior Boys title for the fourth time in the last six years.
In the Senior Girls division, the Rattlers come in as the pennant winners, undefeated thus far on the season at 9-0 while the second seeded Stingrays outlasted the T’Wolves in their semi-final series.
The Royals, perennial contenders for the Junior Boys title look to regain a familiar spot atop the league and claim their fourth consecutive title. They remain undefeated on the season at 9-0. The second ranked Raptors lone loss of this season, came at the hands of the Royals.
The Junior Girls championship will also be a rematch of the 2018 series between the Lions and the Scorpions. That series was decided in three games and the Lions eventually claimed their third consecutive title.
Stakeholders promise this year’s championship series will provide a unique experience for the student-athletes participating and fanbases cheering them on.
Evon Wisdom, of the Ministry of Education’s Sports Unit, said the event has grown exponentially with the continued support of its most loyal sponsor and new additions.
“Our championships started at humble beginnings in local school gymnasiums.
We then moved on to the KGLI Gymnasium, which in those days we could only half fill and then we got an opportunity from Cable Bahamas. “Since that intervention, this event has grown to where we host all our playoffs in the national gymnasium to capacity crowds,” he said.
“Where we envision this going is to have more and more corporate entities like our partners here to assist us in making this event an even greater success. We only see this getting better. One of the things we are trying to highlight is our women in sport. Our young men are highlighted but we still want to bring some equity to this.
“A lot of these young people receiving this opportunity are of humble means and so for us to showcase their skills means a lot to them and they perform to an even higher level.”
Each of the four divisions will be contested each day with the senior boys’ matchup televised live at 8pm on Our TV.
“It is our pleasure to be the presented broadcast partner in these events. We like to think of ourselves as providing a platform through exactly what it is that we do for these games to be seen nationwide and empowering young people. It’s a part of our corporate social responsibility mandate to empower young people, particularly through sport,” said Alexia Coakley, Our TV media operations manager.
“Sport development is significant in building character and skills these young people can carry throughout the rest of their lives. We are happy to utilise our resources, our production team, our network and all things that come together to make this event significant and it is something we look forward to every year.”