by RENALDO DORSETT
For the first time in 20 years, the St Johns College Giants stand tall as BAISS Senior Boys basketball champions.
The Giants overcame a 10 point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Queen’s College Comets 44-43 in overtime and sweep the best of three series.
Ayinde Maynard delivered an MVP performance with a game high 16 points, Bryan Clarke added 14 and Dwight Wheatley added nine.
Javaughn Ferguson led the Comets with 11 points, Bryan Culmer added 10, and Elliot Greenslade finished with eight.
Maynard’s runner on the baseline gave the Giants the lead with 21 seconds left to play and despite missing their final six at the line, a staunch effort on the glass and on the defensive end sealed the win.
Tied at 41 at the end of regulation, the Giants’ Darius Major split a pair at the line to give his team the first lead of overtime.
Christian Brown’s jumper in the lane gave QC a 43-42 with 1:07 left to play before Maynard’s heroics.
The Giants couldn’t convert at the line in their final trips but grabbed two offensive rebounds and the Comets’ final fastbreak attempt faltered with a mishandled pass up court.
Culmer made a runner at the buzzer to give the Comets a 34-24 lead headed into fourth.
Neither team made a field goal for nearly four minutes in the quarter until St Johns went on an incredible 11-0 run sparked by a missed fastbreak dunk attempt when Major tried to finish over a QC defender.
His play brought the Giant faithful to their feet and his energy off the bench sparked the Giants go ahead run.
Christin Wright scored on a rebound and putback, Maynard scored on consecutive possessions, Major scored on a fastbreak layup and Clarke converted a three point play for a 35-34 lead.
In just over two minutes the Giants went from down 10 to up three at the 3:34 mark when Clarke made a deep two from the wing, 37-34.
QC regained the lead after Brown and Ferguson scored on layups.
Trailing 41-38 with under 20 seconds left to play, Major made a three pointer from the wing to tie the game 41 and force overtime.
QC raced out to a 12-9 after the first quarter.
The Comets led 17-11, in the second and the Giants offence struggled before Maynard’s jumper.
Clarke made a runner just before the half and the Comets led 22-18.
Wheatley opened the third with a basket for St Johns but Greenslade responded with a three from the wing.
He added another three for 28-20 lead and the Comets closed the quarter strong before the Giants would rally.
St. Johns came into the BAISS playoffs as the fourth seed and upset the pennant winning SAC Big Red Machine before moving on to sweep the Comets.