The finals of the Abaco School League Association Basketball season were played during the week of February 12 to 16 with three games each day on Monday and Thursday, the champion having to win two games out of three. There was a very competitive atmosphere in Agape Christian School’s Grace Gymnasium with coaches shouting encouragement and fans cheering.
In a fiercely fought championship game, the Agape Eagles junior boys defeated the Abaco Central Marlins 59 to 51. The Eagles girls also earned a victory for their school, winning 19 to 16 against the Dynamic Dolphins from Cooper’s Town. The Marlins defeated the Eagles in the senior game, winning 60 to 51.
The junior boys championship game started first with the Marlins and the Eagles sharing the lead by a few points until the last quarter which started with the Marlins leading with 48-42 points with 35 minutes to play. The Eagles suddenly gathered their strength when a foul from the Marlins gave them an advantage of one point. The Marlins scored a basket and their score of 50 was matched by a foul shot by the Eagles four seconds before the end of the game.
The referees agreed to grant the teams an overtime of four minutes.
The Marlins scored first on a foul but the Eagles hit three baskets in a row accompanied by the cheers of their fans which became jumps of joy when Oswald Meadows scored a final three-point shot, just before the buzzer.
Oswald was recognized as the MVP of the game.
The girls’ game featured an equally exciting game with the Cooper’s Town team leading in the first quarter. The Eagles rallied their efforts in the second quarter, especially Deanna McDonald and Enrinique Theagene who gave their best to contribute to their team’s victory.
Both girls were acknowledged by receiving a joint MVP title.
Agape took the lead in the first quarter of the senior boys’ championship game, ahead by three points. They tied in the second quarter, at which time Marlin player, Niko McIntosh, suffered an injury during a fall and was retired for the remainder of quarter and part of the third one.
Abaco Central High School fans were calling for his return and, limping, he rejoined the game at the end of the third quarter, at which time their score was 38 to 42. The last quarter then became out of reach for the Eagles who were exhausted after playing two games (the same players were in the junior team). Niko McIntosh contributed to the Marlins’ victory, scoring 21 baskets in spite of being injured.
The MVP title was given to Elian Bain who also played as a junior, totaling 23 points between the two games.
The hard work and effort put in by all of the players during the championship games was evident for all watching. While the disappointment of losing after being so close to the victory was reflected in their demeanor as they slapped hands with the winners, smiles returned to their faces for the photoshoot.
Coaches for the Eagles’ boys and girls were Stephan Johnson and Craig Rickey. Shantell Penn and R. Ferguson coached the Marlins teams. Kayetta Brown trained the SC Bootle High School girls.
Carlson Mitchell, Ishmael “Stretch” Morley, Eustace Penn, and Gilbert Davis were the referees for the games, with the score keeper positions being filled by various students.