Stephen Jones – 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks
Dillon Miranda – 13 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists
Marco Valera – 13 points, 3 assists
Kristjan Lamont – 12 points, 13 blocks, 8 boards, 5 assists
Theo Deezar – 21 points
Justus Alleyn-Dornn – 16 points
Malik Irwin – 13 points
WINNIPEG,MB–Whoever said road games in high school are not tough, must have never played an away game at Kelvin High School.
A back and forth intense matchup between St. Paul’s and Kelvin had the two teams trading baskets, giving up scoring runs which led to an overtime thriller where the Kelvin Clippers prevailed 80-73.
Yes, this home game had the crowd all rowdy for their home opener of the basketball season. The intelligent Clippers Crew knew the names of all the opposing players and made it difficult by yelling and cheering through the entire game.
Kelvin senior point guard commented to NPH on the crowd factor “It was our first big home crowd but the atmosphere made every basket feel like it was a game winner. It’s going to be great to have that behind us for the rest of the year.”
The game started out with both teams showing their strengths as Kelvin’s defence, which was led by the duo of Stephen Jones and Kristjan Lamont were able to keep Crusaders shots from making it to the basket. Every time there was a blocked shot the crowd erupted. Both sides had a fair amount of turnovers which allowed the score to stay relatively low.
As the game progressed into the second quarter, both sides started to get a little more comfortable offensively, Justus Alleyn-Dornn managed to hit a three pointer in transition for the Crusaders while Dillon Miranda got the hoop and the harm on the opposite end.
The quarter was highlighted by Kristjan Lamont as he went up for a poster dunk, but was fouled and went to the line to shoot free throws. St. Paul’s had the lead going into the break 29-28.
When the second half began, Stephen Jones had Kelvin on the right track. A quick start by Jones resulted in him having the first 4 points and finished with 9 points in the quarter. St. Paul’s had strong play from Theo Deezar as the Crusaders had the lead, 51-47 going into the fourth quarter.
Using the crowd, the Clippers came out firing. With Ivan Paskvalin hitting a three pointer to start the quarter, the crowd was fired up. Both teams traded buckets in the beginning and neither team budged. However, Kelvin managed to start to pull away with back to back possessions with three pointers giving the Clippers a seven point lead with 4:49 to play. The lead would become nine as Ivan Paskvalin hit a three pointer and the crowd went nuts.
St. Paul’s was not giving up, their tough defence forced Kelvin to commit turnovers which were capitalized by Justus and Malik, who brought the deficit to two with 39 seconds remaining. A hectic play in the final seconds had Malik Irwin fouled while shooting and went to the free throw line with one second remaining on the shot clock.
The Kelvin Clippers faithful were on their feet yelling and stomping, as Malik headed to the free throw line. He would shoot two shots and with St. Paul’s down by two he needed to make them both.
Malik took the ball, stepped to the line and sunk both shots, silencing the crowd. NPH spoke to Malik about how he managed to make that shot with all the pressure and noise. “I just took long breaths and thought to myself, I’ve hit this shot 1000 times, so why not now?”
Kelvin inbounded the ball but was unable to get a shot off, and the game went to OT with both sides tied up at 65.
Overtime started well for the Clipps as they never looked back, starting with a three pointer and a few quick free throws they were out in front by five. St. Paul’s made a charge and brought the Kelvin lead to one, but were never able to take the lead back from the Clippers, losing 80-74.
Kelvin head coach Don Lamont talked to NPH after the game “From a coaching perspective, it was great to see that we won but obviously we’ve got a real tough schedule this year so we will be getting a number of tough games like this. We’ve got a great conference and we’ve got a great tournament schedule so I’m just looking forward to the kids getting better as the year progresses.”
In HS play Kelvin is 1-0 while St. Paul’s goes to 2-1. The Kelvin Clippers will be playing in the Wesmen Classic as their first round matchup is against Maples. The St. Paul’s Crusaders will be playing in the Daniel Macintyre tournament.