by RENALDO

 

It will be an all-Grand Bahama final to determine this year’s Division I National High School Basketball Champion.

 

The top seeded Tabernacle Baptist Falcons will face the St. George’s Jaguars in tonight’s tournament finale at the Jaguars’ home gymnasium in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

 

To do it, both teams defeated the CI Gibson Rattlers in their respective semifinals.

 

Just about a month ago, the Falcons defeated the Jaguars in the Grand Bahama Secondary School Sports Association Championship series, 2-0.

 

The Falcons were without star guard Franco Miller while the Jaguars were without forward Howard Hinzey. Both players will be available for tonight’s national championship.

 

The Falcons advanced to the championship with a dominant 78-50 win over the Rattlers Saturday night.

 

The Falcons hot shooting began in the first quarter and set the tone for the remainder of the contest. They made 14-31 (45 percent) from three point range and led wire to wire in the win.

 

Desmond Butler scored a game high 18 points, Franco Miller finished with 15 points and six assists, Alfredo Brown scored 12, Shyrone Kemp added 12 points and nine rebounds, Seandre Todd scored 10 and Shamel Greene added eight points and 11 rebounds.

 

Both Butler and Brown each made four three pointers while Miller made three and Todd made two.

 

Asher Scavella led the Rattlers with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Deon’Ta Tinker finished with 11 and Terrence Storr scored eight.

 

Brown made the first three on the Falcons opening possession of the game. Miller’s three with just under a minute left to play in the quarter gave his team an early 22-10 advantage and they took a 26-10 lead at the end of the period. The lead reached over 20 for the first time when Butler made a three from the wing at the 6:35 mark in the second and Tabernacle led 42-22 at the half. The Falcons led by as much as 33 in the fourth quarter.

 

With the Rattlers loss and St. George’s win over the Jordan Prince William Falcons, the two teams squared off in the second semifinal late Sunday night.

 

St. Geroge’s emerged with the 63-53 win to set up the final matchup.

 

The Rattlers put up a valiant effort throughout, but ultimately could not overcome the loss of Scavella, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, who was suspended due to an altercation in the aforementioned semifinal against Tabernacle.

 

With Scavella sidelined, Tyrell Butler picked up the scoring load for the Rattlers and scored a game high 18 points. Terrance Storr and Cameron Strachan each chipped in with 11.

 

Sharpshooting guard Mateo King led the Jaguars with 15 points, Tericko Moss scored 13 off the bench, Ahmard Harvey finished with a double double, 12 points and 10 rebounds, Devonte Jennings finished with seven points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals and Howard Hinzey added six points and game high 13 rebounds.

 

The Jaguars took an early 7-0 lead, and lead by as much as 14 in the first quarter before the Rattlers showed any signs of life.

 

Trailing 25-13 at the 6:33 mark in the second, Butler’s jumper sparked a run for the Rattlers and he followed with a three point play on the next possession. The Rattlers went on a 16-3 run to take a 29-28 lead on Storr’s layup. The Jaguars would regain the lead on the following possession on a Moss jumpshot and extended the lead to eight headed into the fourth quarter, 49-41. The Rattlers came within four in the fourth quarter, but Kyle Smith made a jumper for the Jaguars and a brief run regained a 10 point lead.

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