THE Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) National Schools Basketball Festival (NSBF) U-19 quarterfinals showcased the best of the U-19 talent on the local circuit.There were three games played on the night, one blowout, one close encounter and one nail-biter that proved to be the game everyone was waiting to witness the entire tournament.In the first game of the night, Kwakwani Secondary made light work of Mackenzie High blowing them out of the water to show why they were defending champions winning 61-28. Led by the triple threat of national guards in Troy David, Stanton Rose and Damair Gladstone who had 10, 12 and 11 points respectively, the team cruised to victory. Kemmol Benjamin, Dillon Wallace and Jamal Gilkes registered 9, 7 and 6 points in the win also. For the outmatched Mackenzie side, Tim Veshon scored 8 points with Daniel Anthony supporting him with 7 points.The second encounter saw Linden Technical Institute spoiling the coming-out party for Jaleel Duke and his President’s College side in a game that finished 47-33. Led by Akinni Wilson’s 13, LTI continued their tradition of advancing to the final rounds to compete for a title. From the outset, President’s College, pushing the tempo and looking very threatening, while doing so behind Duke’s quick scoring.However, the tide soon changed as the Linden side started to lock down on defence and convert on offence. For Akinni, it was balanced scoring with an inside-out approach – whatever the defence gave him he took. He was supported by Tahquille Johnson’s 9. On the President’s College side, Jaleel Duke posted 14 points in the losing effort with Anton Fileen contributing 11.Sherland Gillis at line to close out the win for NAMS (Daniel Haynes photos)The final game of the night was definitely the one fans paid their money to see. New Amsterdam Multilateral Secondary (NAMS) took on St Rose’s High and won in a game that went into overtime and finished 36-29.From the tip, both teams seemed evenly matched, trading baskets after the initial feel-out process was over. It was not just a battle of big men and point guards, but a battle of coaches, with Rose’s Courtenay Taylor and NAMS Willon Cameron having both coached alongside each other at the National level.The battle of the ‘bigs’ that was expected turned out to be the mitigating factor with NAMS’ Neil Wills, and Sherland Gillis contributing 10 points each for their side, with points coming at crucial moments. For Rose’s it was the duo of Akil Vaughn and Leon Ross who held the offensive giant Wills to such a low total.Gillis was the X Factor for the NAMS side, and he seemed to find himself making the right basketball plays at the right moments. The first being a steal with seconds to go in the game leading to him being fouled and able to put away the game at the free throw line after Rose’s took the lead with a minute to go.For Rose’s it was Shamar Huntley whose 15 points stood out in the losing effort. There was much to be taken away from the game as in the overtime period the three-point shooting of Rose’s went awry. There were missed calls on both ends and the foul game ultimately contributed to the game’s outcome.Akinni Vaugn making a move for two of his points.Gillis was once again put at the line and made them count for the win. Coach Willon Cameron on how the win came to be stated “It was wanting it at all times, we fight and that’s what we’re about.”AN emotional coach Taylor also gave his input stating, “It was always going to be a competitive game given the fact both teams are similar in their make-up and how they play.”“The teams know each other as well through the friendship developed over the years but what played the separator in the teams was the officiating,” continued Taylor.The semi-final rounds tip off today and promise much more action. The tournament is sponsored by Digicel, Banks DIH Limited and Beharry Group of Companies.