NPH Top Performers
Stephen Jones – 23 points
Kristjan Lamont – 15 points
Dakotah Roussin – 9 points
Andre Arruda-Welch – 25 points
Tynan Reyes – 20 points
Jonas Tugade – 17 points (5/6 3 point)
Denis Cicak – 4 points
WINNIPEG,MB–When you look at Garden City’s roster, you don’t see many players but a great deal of empty bench space. That’s because their roster is smaller than usual and with injuries to several players, it does not help the cause.
Everyone seemed to consider the Fighting Gophers an out from their first round matchup to the semi-final and even the championship game, Garden City was considered the underdog after losing their star point guard Josh Magpantay to injury in the semi-final.
No matter the circumstances, the Garden City Fighting Gophers would defeat the Kelvin Clippers by a score of 67-59 and take home the title of High School Wesmen Classic Champions. Not only was this their second straight title, but it was Garden City’s fourth title in the last five years.
Garden City started off the game with a 6-0 run and really never looked back. In the first quarter, Tynan Reyes of Garden City was dominating the boards down low and was extremely successful with his hook shot scoring eight points in the opening quarter.
Andre Arruda-Welch was starting to warm up in the first quarter as the much smaller Dillon Miranda of Kelvin was guarding him and was able to keep him from getting too comfortable, despite the height differential, Andre 6’4 and Dillon 5’10. Following the first quarter Garden City was in the lead 16-7.
Kelvin would not go down without a fight and their determination kept them in the game. They started the second quarter with a quick 4-0 start that brought them to within five points of the Garden City lead. However Jonas Tugade and Andre Arruda-Welch started to heat up for the Fighting Gophers.
Arruda-Welch was beginning to find his comfort zone and when this happens, it is usually not a good sign for opposing teams.
Arruda-Welch scored six points in a row helping Garden City take momentum of the game. Jonas Tugade, the three point specialist went 2/2 from behind the arc in the quarter to give Garden City a commanding 30-18 lead.
The Clippers would fight back and with Marco Valera and Dakotah Roussin they trimmed the Garden City lead to 32-26 going into halftime.
The trio from Garden City: Jonas Tugade, Andre Arruda-Welch, Tynan Reyes, had 31 points combined at halftime, whereas Kristjan Lamont had been held to only four points, thanks to extremely solid defending from Denis Cicak the 6’4 post from Garden City. Kelvin’s Stephen Jones played well throughout the game and finished with 23 points.
Jonas Tugade of Garden City would only continue his hot shooting into halftime as he won the High School three point shootout and winning his team brand new warm-up jerseys. Tugade went 5/5 from behind the arc up until midway through the fourth quarter where he missed his first three and finished 5/6. Simply put, you do not want to leave Tugade unguarded from deep.
Kelvin was still trying to keep up with a Garden City team that was not missing many of their shots. However, in the third quarter Garden City widened their lead to eleven going into the final frame thanks to another solid quarter performance by the Garden City trio.
Tournament All-Star Kristjan Lamont from Kelvin spoke about his team’s performance, “We played less than we are capable of and we didn’t finish when it counted. They were making their shots and we weren’t able to answer”.
The fourth quarter was still back and forth as both teams were trying to accomplish different things. Kelvin was trying to close the gap and Garden City was trying to extend their lead. Solid defending by Denis Cicak on Kristjan Lamont allowed the Fighting Gophers to stay out in front as Kristjan was guarded well and wasn’t able to get much going offensively.
Andre Arruda-Welch was named player of the game with a game high 25 points in a dominating performance from both ends. Arruda-Welch was also given the tournament MVP award after putting on an impressive showing in all three games.
After another great performance, Andre talkedabout the win and what it means for his team moving forward this season.
“It felt great and winning back to back is just an amazing feeling, moving forward this victory is going to be great, we can only get better”.
Garden City’s coach Phil Penner spoke to NPH about how Andre performed in the tournament and how his team played the final game.
“I think this tournament was Andre’s coming out party today, he was a very good player for us last year, probably didn’t get as much recognition just cause he didn’t score as much but he did so many other things,” explained Penner.
“I didn’t need him to score as much last year so a lot of people only look at how many points you score, but this year he is probably our main scorer so he gets a little more recognition but he’s worked hard on his game and he’s improved and he had a heck of a night tonight.”
“It feels pretty good, I’m just really proud of the guys, they stepped up without our point guard (Josh) who plays the whole game and everybody stepped up, Jonas stepped in and became our third scorer and everybody played great; I can’t say enough about how proud I am off the guys.”
Watch out for Garden City this year as they have a lot to prove moving forward this season. Don’t forget about Kelvin, they are a team that has performed well and could make a push for the title.