East Coast Round Up with Deon Wilson – Edition #3
Well as we move into the third installment of the East Coast Round Up, things are heating up in the AUS and in high school hoops.
This week has definitely been about the shift in standings–UPEI’s come up and UNB’s slide. However calling it a slide may be a little unfair as the AUS is just that close this year, anyone of five teams are legitimate banner contenders with Cape Breton being right there if their offense can find the basket consistently.
Cape Breton Capers @ Acadia Axemen
The Cape Breton Capers are a team that knows how to take the air out of the ball, as they execute their offensive sets nicely for quality shots, while locking down and playing solid team D, which is why the AUS’ sixth place team gave the first place team all they could handle.
The Capers were down 18-14 after one quarter and just hung around all game with the lead staying under seven, until the last two minutes when Coach Skinn cleared the bench and the Axemen closed the game on a run.
For the second weekend in a row I watched a strong interior defense turn the Axemen into a jump shooting team and the Capers only allowed Owen Klassen to get 7 FG attempts in 32 minutes. This allowed the Capers to stay in striking distance throughout the game but timely makes by Auburn High graduates AJ Simmonds 17pts (6/12 FG) and Shaquille Smith 17pts (5/9 FG) guided the Axemen to a 77-60 victory.
Cape Breton Capers @ Dalhousie Tigers
In a game with huge playoff implications for both teams this was expected to be an intense battle for the last remaining playoff spot. However, sport never seems to really work out as expected and that’s why its so darn entertaining, even in a weird game like this.
To say the Tigers came out flat would be an understatement, as would saying the Capers came out sharp. CBU absolutely destroyed the lifeless Tigers over the first fifteen minutes of the game and led 33-7, looking like they were on their way to an absolute route.
At the half the Tigers were down 39-14 and they took a little extra time at the break returning to the court about five minutes after the buzzer sounded. The Tigers played much more inspired defense and the Capers obliged by missing layups and free throws throughout the third quarter only putting up eight points to Dalhousie’s 19.
This just made fans stick around to see if Dal could pull off the huge comeback as they got the game to 11pts with about five minutes remaining but could not manage to get it to single digits, missing free throw opportunities and lay-ups. The charge was led by some key threes from Jared Reid and Devon Stedman but it was just not meant to be as Cape Breton held on for the not so pretty 56-46 win and the last AUS playoff spot.
Seth Amoah and Meshack Lufile led Cape Breton with 12 apiece, while Devon Stedman and Jared Reid lead Dalhousie with 14 and 11 respectively.
University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds @ University of Prince Edward Island Panthers
The Varsity Reds ventured across the Confederation Bridge on Friday Night with an 8-3 record and looking to take hold of one of the first round playoff buys in the AUS. UNB looked poised to make this happen going into the fourth quarter up 59-49 with the Panthers struggling on the offensive end. Behind strong shooting and 17 bench points from Lorenzo Parker, the Panthers went on a 36-16 run in the fourth quarter for the 85-65 win. The Panthers have proved many times over that they can create runs with their defensive style and make shots to create positive outcomes for their talented squad.
Deontay Smith led the Panthers with 23 points and Lorenzo Parker chipped in with 17.
William McFee led the Reds with 23 points and Javon Masters had an almost freshman normal of 17 points.
On Saturday night the Panthers took no chances and picked up where they left off outscoring the Reds 40-34 in the first half. Then the Panthers trade mark run came in a decisive third quarter where UPEI outscored UNB 32-13. Not seeing the game directly, statistically this was one of the more impressive games for UPEI as four starters landed in double digits – Geoff Doane 24, Ellis Ffrench 14, Deontay Smith 12 and Donathan Moss 11.
Javon Masters returned to his scoring prowess with 27 points but the efficiency fell off on a 7-20 shooting night. Willim McFee was second high man with 16pts.
By virtue of the two wins the UPEI Panthers slide into second place in the AUS standings and the Varsity Reds dropped to fifth.
Memorial University Sea Hawks @ St Francis Xavier X-Men
The Memorial Sea Hawks were looking to go into Antigonish and shock the X-Men for the second year in a row. But the toughest thing about a program like Memorial who is garnering respect because of their improved talent base and tight game results is that teams no longer give an opportunity for them to sneak up on them.
This was the case on Saturday night as the X-Men jumped on the Sea Hawks and raced out to a 42-27 lead at the break. Memorial came out with more focus and intent in the third quarter and closed the gap to 10 by its end. But again the X-Men were having nothing to do with a close game and locked down defensively in the fourth to take the 85-65 victory.
X had a total team attack with 11 players hitting the score sheet and there top two scorers Shane Coupland and Alex Arthur each had 11 off the bench.
Caleb Gould led the Sea Hawks with 14 points and 8 rebound while Davion Parnsalu chipped in with 13 points.
The game on Sunday looked like it was going to go the same way as the previous night; X-Men jumped out to a 25-18 lead after 1 Q. However, the Sea Hawks stepped up the intensity and took solid control of the game in the second and third quarters…looked good going into the fourth with a 61-53 lead.
In the fourth quarter the X-Men notched up their pressure D, using a trapping game leading to Memorial turnovers and poor possessions, which allowed X to outscore the Sea Hawks 29-13 for a solid 82-74 victory.
William Donkoh led the X-Men with 22pts on 7-12 shooting and Jordan Clarke chipped in with 11pts and 5asts.
Guard Davion Parnsalu who played all 40 minutes led the Sea Hawks with 20pts and 6rebs, with forward Caleb Gould dropping 19pts on 9/12 shooting.
Dalhousie Tigers @ Saint Mary’s Huskies
The Saint Mary’s Huskies game scripts this year have been pretty much to come out in a slow start, let the other team get up a few buckets and then let errr rip. Well this has cost them a couple of games and on this night the Huskies decided to give fans a new show.
They came out of the gate and jumped on the Tigers with an 11-0 run to start the game and never really looked back. Saint Mary’s built to a 21 point lead early in the fourth quarter and then cruised to a 78-60 win over the struggling Tigers.
Marquis Clayton led the Huskies with 15pts with Boyd Vassell and Terrence Taylor chipping in 12 apiece.
The only effective player for the Tigers was Kashrell Lawrence as he dropped 20pts on 7/13 shooting in just 10 minutes of play.
Division 1 High School Hoops
With exams being last week in New Brunswick and this week in Nova Scotia there wasn’t and isn’t much going for high school hoops on the East Coast. I will however be taking my annual trip to the Dairy Town Classic this weekend In Sussex New Brunswick. For full info on this great event, click here.
Metro High School Boys League Standings
Prince Andrew- 8-2
CP Allen- 8-3
Halifax Grammar- 7-3
Dartmouth – 4-6
Cole Harbour- 3-5
Sir John A – 1-8
JL Illsley – 1-8
Halifax West- 0-8
East Coast Top 10 Rankings
1) Citadel (NS) – Citadel had a 20 point win against PA last week and PA defeated Auburn twice the weekend previous to that
2) Prince Andrew (NS)
3) Auburn (NS)
4) Kennebecasis (NB)
5) CP Allen (NS)
6) Fredericton (NB)
7) Charlottetown Rural (PEI)
8) Halifax Grammar (NS)
9) Horton (NS)
10) Riverview (NB)