~The Varsity Basketball team faced off against St. Peter's CHS late Saturday afternoon in the championship of the 12th Annual SAC Invitational Basketball Tournament. This year's crop of Saints were eager to etch their name onto the championship plaque for only the second time in school history, but they knew they would need to play 32 minutes of hard, smart, and unselfish basketball to accomplish this task.
St. Peter's had surprised many teams in the tournament, including #2 ranked Aurora High School and very athletic and dangerous Stephen Lewis, and so the Saints were prepared to make sure they did not suffer the same fate.
In the opening quarter, the Saints set the tone of the game early. Jordan Carter did a fantastic job pushing the ball in transition and finding open teammates on the break. He also found his jumpshot during the game, and knocked down three perimeter jumpers in the contest, finishing with 13 points. Quinton Gray and Angelis Prattas ran the floor tirelessly, putting pressure on the St. Peter's defence and wearing down their opponents. Early on, the Saints jumped out to a comfortable 19-5 lead, but they did not coast through the rest of the half. Instead, the Saints established an inside presence thanks to Jonathan Femi-Cole, Daniel Cummings, and Byron Mawaya. All three of these players rebounded the ball very well at both ends of the floor and their strong power moves in the paint were too much for the St. Peter's post players to handle. Each player also defended very well by hedging on ball screens and communicating to their teammates. The Saints worked well as a team and mixed up their defensive systems to frustrate St. Peter's and disrupt their flow. At the half, the Saints enjoyed a 40-22 lead.
However, St. Peter's did not go away quietly in the second half. Their best shooting guard started to heat up from the outside, and he knocked down several three-pointers in the second half. A zone defence from St. Peter's slowed down the Saints for a while as they struggled to execute in the half court. Suddenly, the lead was down to 12 and not nearly as comfortable as earlier.
The Saints responded as Tyler Plummer went back to work and attacked the paint relentlessly. He finished as the leading scorer in the contest with 17 points. O'Shane Taylor-Douglas settled down the offence and found open teammates for buckets, while James Michaelis and Blair Xu contributed with excellent defence and tenacious rebounding. In the end, the Saints prevailed and captured the tournament championship. The weekend featured some fantastic play from a variety of individuals, but most importantly the Saints displayed the desire to play with effort, intensity, and execution on every possession for all four games of the tournament. This will be critical for the Saints as they return to CISAA league play and work their way towards a playoff berth and quest for OFSAA qualification.
Next action for the Saints is Wednesday vs. Crescent School at 4:00 p.m. in Bedard Gym. Congratulations to the Saints for capturing the tournament championship!
St. Andrew's College 68
St. Peter's CHS 51