Kwesi Mugisa, Staff Report
SPANISH TOWN arch-rivals St. Catherine and St. Jago will once again be in contention, when they come face to face in the Under-19 finals of the KFC/ISSA all-island National Basketball Championships at the National Stadium courts at 3:00 p.m. today.
Under-16 Southern Conference champions Calabar will also have a shot at capturing the double title as they take on Northern Conference top guns Old Harbour in the junior final at 1:30p.m.
Old Harbour joined Calabar in the finals by scoring a narrow 53-49 win over Ardenne High in the semis on Saturday, when captain Bradley Bogues hit down 25 points and hauled in 21 rebounds.
ONE GAME AWAY
Heavily favoured, Javan Bailey's St. Catherine are one game away from lifting the KFC/ISSA high school double title, but standing in the way of the team and schoolboy basketball's top honour are long-time rivals St. Jago and their big man Adrian Forbes, who will be keen on denying them this privilege.
St. Jago were red-hot early in the season and found themselves with an 11-game winning streak leading into the southern conference semi-finals. However, this all came to an end when they encountered St. Catherine, who left them teary-eyed as they sent them bitterly crashing out of the competition with their first loss of the season.
A win today would not only see St. Jago reaping sweet revenge, but salvaging what will otherwise be a totally disappointing season.
THE BETTER TEAM
"We still think a lot about our loss in the semis to them. I think we were the better team but cockiness and indiscipline set in," admitted St. Jago coach Kevin Grossett.
"However, we are over that now and we really want the victory today. It's important to us and the guys are really looking forward to it. In addition to that I think history is on our side," added Grossett who saw his team dispose of Old Harbour en route to the final.
Having already left one disappointed team hoping for revenge (Wolmer's who lost out in the finals of the Southern Conference), St. Catherine coach Lennox Lindo is confident that they can add St. Jago to the list.
"We are in high spirits. They have beaten us once this season and we have beaten them once. However, we won the bigger game and I think that we definitely have the advantage," said St. Catherine coach Lennox Lindo.
"Our game is a lot more team-oriented than theirs. We haven't been able to get a lot of training in due to the rain but we are still quite confident that we can go out there and play well tomorrow," he said.