A game-high 22 points, 3 assists and 2 steals by tournament MVP Davaurii Daniel propelled HJ Robinson High School to championship honours in the Interscholastic Basketball competition, against Clement Howell High from Providenciales, nipping them by the slimmest of margins – 63 to 62 - in the final on December 11.
Daniel was assisted by Clefedkin St. Juste, who recorded 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks, and Jamari Caley who scored 9 points, and pulled down 4 rebounds.
The knife’s edge game saw end-to-end actions, and the large turnout at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Complex in Providenciales enjoyed every minute of it, as they were treated to some intense basketball skills and stiff rivalry from the players.
While both teams played with intense purpose, it was the Omardi Morris and Kristien Simons – coached HJ Robinson High that triumphed at the final buzzer.
Clement Howell High dominated the first three quarters, but a resilient HJ Robinson, stormed back in the final quarter to snatch the epic win.
Morris lauded his players for their commitment to the game, stating that despite hearing of the competition rather late, managed to whip the players into shape which resulted in their tremendous success.
“We were notified late about the tournament, so we were really out of shape in the beginning and had to pick up our conditioning. But we actually embraced that adversity and that’s something we preached entirely today and have been preaching throughout our whole season. We like the adversity; we like the challenge (because) it makes us better. We’re Goliath now, we’re the dogs on top,” he gloated.
In response to the win and being named tournament MVP, Daniel could not hide his elation.
“It’s just a blessing,” Daniel said. “I got a little bit of tears of joy. After I heard the final buzzer, I was so happy. The one (shot) I hit on the wing of it when I got the ball the defender was in my face, and I shot it and it went in.
“This is the moment I wanted, this is the moment we came here for, so in my head I said ‘we have to win this championship’, and this is a very improved moment for me”.
The top scorers for Clement Howell were Isais Sevoar - 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and 1 block; Kevens Etienne with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 assist; and Jhon Cesar with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists.
Clement Howell’s coach Kevin Harvey (assisted by Coach Kenneth Grant) praised his team’s performance.
“I give hats off to Coach Omardi, he did a heck off of a job. That’s where the game is at, it’s on the floor and we leave it there. It’s anybody’s game for who gets mentally ready and it’s a challenge getting ready for four games,” he said.
In the third-place playoff, Marjorie Basden High of South Caicos eked out another edge-of-your-seat-win over former champions Maranatha, defeating them 64 to 62.
For Marjorie Basden, Dashawn Lightbourne scored 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 1 assist; Leshard Goldman with 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals; and Kyle Belizaire with 14 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block and 1 assist.
Maranatha’s Roldiudaon Lacossade finished with a game-high 30 points, 11 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks, and 1 assist. His teammates Jude Thernitis ended with 11 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist; and Trayvaugn Lewis with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal.
Among the participating schools in the competition were the Raymond Gardiner High School, Maranatha Academy, Marjorie Basden High School, British West Indies Collegiate, Louise Garland Thomas High School, HJ Robinson High School and Clement Howell High School.