Ardenne, Old Harbour are national basketball champions
ARDENNE High and Old Harbour High captured the Under-19 and Under-16 2013 KFC/ISSA Basketball Championships, respectively, at the National Stadium Basketball Courts on Friday.
It was two exciting finals that brought the curtains down on the schoolboys' season that produced several close matches, both in the urban and rural areas, which were played in four conferences.
Ardenne, who were hoping to win both titles, made amends for their defeat in the Under-16 final by coming out with a convincing 66-55 win over Manchester High in the Under-19 final.
The powerfully built point guard Javon Davis scored a game-high 26 points, pulled off 11 rebounds and produced five steals for a remarkable performance that earned him the most valuable player award.
The Basil Barrett-coached Ardenne aggregation was also winning their second title of the season, as they had earlier won the Southern Basketball Conference Under-16 crown.
Barrett said his win against Manchester High was very good and the players are really happy.
"I don't think this final was a much better game than when we defeated defending champions Kingston College in the semi-finals. It was a much harder encounter and it was just like a final," Barrett said.
The Ardenne coach added that his team dominated the match throughout and won a lot of free throws on many occasions. "The fourth and final quarter, we just pulled away to win comfortably," he said.
He noted that his team's 41-51 defeat in the Under-16 final was caused by the players not listening to instructions given to them.
Coach Pastor Ricardo Edwards was very elated at his team's triumph. "We have a long overdue national championship that eluded us for three years. I am very excited about for this victory," Edwards said.
"I told my players to step up their game in the third and fourth quarters and they did just what I told them to do, as we were trailing at half time.
"It was a very close, exciting and competitive final," he added. "Ardenne is a very good team, but the players fought hard for this victory."
The star of he Under-16 final was point guard Joel Bailey, who produced a game-high 20 points, to be adjudged the most valuable player.
This was also Old Harbour High's third title for the season, having earlier captured both the Under-16 and Under-19 titles in the Northern Basketball Conference schools competition before playing in the national championships to end the season unbeaten.