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Senior Boys Basketball

SB Basketball: Challenges at CAIS

By Andre Simard
vs Gray Academy – Winnipeg, Man. (CAIS Pool)
The teams played a back-and-forth first quarter which ended 12-10 in the Spartans’ favour. The stingy second quarter allowed only 10 total points, with Stanstead gaining 8 and Gray merely 3 for a 19-13 halftime score with SC leading. The third quarter saw much more scoring (30 total points with Gray accounting for 17 and the Spartans 13). The third quarter score was SC 32- GA 20. The Spartans, like the AC at LCC, went very cold during the latter part of the third and throughout the fourth. In fact, during that time (from the 32-21 score onward), Gray went on a 17-2 run. Those 2 points were also SC's ONLY 2 points in the entire fourth quarter, while Gray chipped in 13. Final score GA 43 - SC 34.

We missed our best chance to obtain a round-robin win in pool play, as the competition would get hard during the next two games. Individual scoring was Bo 8; Daniel and Summer 6; Victor 5; Will and Shun 3; Lam 2; and Andrew 1. Next up: the TCS Bears from Port Hope, Ontario.

vs TCS - Port Hope, Ont. (CAIS Pool)
The Spartans started the afternoon with a 3-point score by Daniel. After that exciting beginning, things went downhill pretty quickly, including three or four dunks in the first quarter (not by us, in case you were wondering). The TCS Bears have several players who have talent, size and skill. As long as they were on the court, it was not a great experience for the Spartans. The Bears dominated the first two quarters 21-5 and 25-4 for a 46-9 halftime score. They then rested some of their stars allowing us to, with the help of a zone defence, cope and play at a more level pace for some minutes. We won the third quarter 8-6 and lost the fourth quarter 10-8. Final score:  TCS 62 - SC 25. Highlights include a solid play by Andrew defending their dunker to a miss with physicality, and Daniel's beauty lay-up score plus an and-1. Point scorers were Daniel with 13; Bo 4; Shun 3; Lam and William 2; and Summer 1.

vs Ashbury - Ottawa, Ont. (CAIS Pool)
Our final pool game was against Ashbury College. They beat TCS by 25 points and were the top-ranked team within our pool, and among the top teams in the entire tournament. We knew that this game would be a huge challenge from technical, physical and mental perspectives. We would play zone defence to keep our red jerseys in the key and force them to make outside shots. We also said we wanted to keep them from dunking on us by getting back on defence and contesting every drive with a Spartan hard-working defender between the driver and the rim. How did it go? Well, off the tip we were improperly set up defensively, so the first basket of the day was a dunk. Several more happened throughout the first half. We rarely got back with any speed. They played a suffocating defence against us that limited our ability to gain any momentum, let alone score. Oh, and their shooting? Not bad. Not bad at all. It seemed like every outside shot was a swoosh. They are a VERY GOOD team in all respects. They could definitely vie for the Gold Division hardware. We did not even give them a good practice, let alone a real game. Ashbury dominated the first two quarters 34-11 and 22-9 for a 55-20 half time score. The third quarter was 17-2 and the final quarter a 7-6 result in our favour as they were disinterested in pushing by that point and had shut it down. Final score:  ASH 78 - SC 29. Daniel led all scorers with 11 - all in the first half; Will had 6; Summer 4; Shun and Jeremy 3; and Lam had 2. Over lunch, re-alignment into the three 8-team divisions took place and we headed to the Bronze Division. 

vs St. John's Ravenscourt - Winnipeg, Man. (CAIS Bronze QF)
We left LCC and moved to St. George's School to play our next game. After two very tough pool games and a further depleted roster, we did not match up in this game in terms of the effort and grit needed to compete in a national level tournament. Our best lead of the game was at 6-1 very early and we won the first quarter 6-5. By the half SJR had a 15-12 lead. At the start of the third quarter, they went off on us with a 16-0 run. After that, both teams traded buckets to create a 40-21 score at the end of the third quarter, and a 49-27 final score. That was a disappointing result. The points/minute would have been interesting to examine in this case, but unfortunately that stat doesn't exist. Scoring leaders: Summer - 6; Shun & Daniel - 5; Victor - 4; Lam - 3; and Keita and Bo - 2. By losing the game, we took ourselves out of the possibility of a bronze semi and final the following day. It meant we had only one game to play, a "friendly" against Hillfield-Strathallan College from Hamilton, Ontario.

vs Hillfield-Strathallan College - Hamiton, Ont, (CAIS Bronze Friendly)
We walked into the gym at Selwyn House with a relatively rested group after a slight sleep-in to play our final game at CAIS. Unfortunately, it would be with a reduced roster of 8 players with the departure on Friday am of Luke (sick) and Shun & Keita after the second game (provincial rugby in NY) and Will nursing a lower body injury. We did not know what to expect but were willing to strive to get a win after a tough set of opponents and game results during the tournament. Sports are funny. Despite our low roster numbers and prior difficulties, the Spartans put on a nice show against HSC. A number of players—in fact really all players—rallied with excellent performances in this contest. The Spartans jumped out to a 18-10 first quarter score and a 15-8 second one to lead 33-18 at the half. Second half quarters of 12-11 and 11-5 cemented the SC win with a final score of 56-34. It seemed like no-one could miss their shots on this day with six players out of the eight—Vic, Andrew, Daniel, Jeremy, Bo and Lam—all having field goal percentages of between 66 and 100%! Scoring was well balanced by quarters and by individuals: Bo - 15; Daniel - 12; Victor - 11; Jeremy - 10; Andrew & Lam - 4.

After that game, we returned to LCC to watch the finals. One of our pool opponents—TCS—were finalists in the Silver Championship. Another of them—Ashbury—played in the gold final. It was a terrific game with all participants watching and the two teams giving a great display of individual and team skill. Ashbury was leading until the very end when SGV mounted a nice comeback with several 3's.  Ashbury was down by one with just seconds remaining and were fouled, sending them to the free throw line trailing 71-70. Their player hit the first free throw but missed the second one (which would have ensured victory) so the game ended after regulation time at 71-71. In overtime, SGV gained the momentum and ended up winning and became champions while Ashbury received the finalist banner.

It was a great tournament experience despite our marginal level of success. All of the players and coaches appreciated the spirit and camaraderie of this type of event.