Belmopan Comprehensive boys win National Basketball Championship

The boys of Belmopan Comprehensive School won their first ever national high schools basketball championship, in the tournament organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association and hosted by Independence High School at the new IHS auditorium on Friday and Saturday, December 14-15.
MVP Akeem Watters led the Belmopan boys’ attack with 17 pts as they romped to a 62-49 victory over the Southern Regional champions, the boys of Stann Creek Ecumenical College, in the championship finals on Saturday afternoon.
Nelson Middleton scored eight points as the Belmopan boys led 13-10 in the first quarter. With Kevin Brown hitting two 3-pointers to add 15 pts, they led 29-19 at intermission.
Ecumenical’s Quinton Bowen top-scored the game with 24 pts, but Christopher Enriquez scored 12 pts for Belmopan, while Felix Requeña and Daine Hewlett scored four points each to lead 45-30 at the end of the third quarter.
Ecumenical’s team captain Hubert Usher scored the first basket, and Leslie Williams added 10 pts, Brandon Castillo tossed in nine, while Frank Williams and D’andre Reynolds scored a basket each to keep them in the game.
Belmopan qualified for the finals by a surprise upset of three-times defending national champions, the boys of Sadie Vernon Technical High School on Friday evening. The Sadie Vernon boys had repeated as the Central Division champions on Monday, December 10. Akeem Watters shot the highest individual score of the tournament: 28 pts, as he led the Belmopan boys to a 45-43 victory.
The Sadie Vernon boys entered the game perhaps a bit overconfident as they dominated the first two quarters.
Lincey Lopez led their attack with13 pts, Deon Roches added eight points and Jamal Augustine tossed in six to lead 18-14 in the first quarter and 28-20 at intermission. Kadeem Olivera and Clency Lopez added five points each, but with Felix Requeña scoring seven points Belmopan took over the lead 35-34 at the end of the third quarter. Robert Gordon added four points for Sadie Vernon, but Kevin Brown hit a 3-pointer as he added six points to put Belmopan over the top 45-43 at the final buzzer.
The Ecumenical boys also qualified for the finals by a 45-33 blowout win over the Northern regional champions, the boys of San Pedro High School in the second game on Friday night.
Team captain Hubert Usher scored the opening basket, Leslie Williams added eight points, and Quinton Bowen – 12 pts, as they romped to a 9-6 lead in the first quarter and a 21-8 lead at intermission. Frank Williams added 10 pts, while Brandon Castillo tossed in four and D’andre Reynolds chipped in a basket to lead 35-18 by the end of the third quarter.
Jose Guerrero had kept the island boys in the game with 14 pts, while Russel Linarez added six and Joel Ruiz and Ian Tzul contributed four points each. Afrie Black and Alex Roache had chipped in a basket each.
The Sadie Vernon boys blew away the San Pedro boys 62-41 to win the consolation game for third place Saturday morning. Lincy Lopez led the attack with 15 pts as they led 15-11 in the first quarter.
Kadeem Olivera scored 10 pts and Robert Gordon tossed in six points for them to lead 28-21 at intermission. Jamal Augustine would top-score the game with 20 pts. He played the post position of receiving pass es under the rim and scoring the easy layup in the paint. He led his team 46-34 by the end of the third quarter.
Clency Lopez hit a 3-pointer as he added seven points, while Jay Palacio tossed in a basket on the win. Jose Guerrero led San Pedro with 10 pts, while Russel Linarez top-scored with 15 pts. Tzul and Damian Pollard added four points each, while Ruiz and Roache each tossed in a bask Independence High School principal Omar Longsworth presented team trophies and individual medals to the champions, second and third place winners, as well as the Northern Division championship trophy to the San Pedro High School boys. The Most Valuable Player award went to Belmopan’s Akeem Watters who scored a total of 45 pts.

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