Winnipeg, MB–Three Wesmen Classic championships in a row is something that must be noted and added to the record books. Yes, the Garden City Fighting Gophers (NPH #19 ranked) defeated the Oak Park Raiders 89-76 to win their third straight Wesmen Classic and fifth in six years. Winning three high school championships in a row has never been done in the classics 46 year history.
Joshua Magpantay played in and helped win all three Wesmen Classic tournaments.
“It feels so good, happy all day,” Magpantay joyously told NPH.
Magpantay had a solid performance in the championship game racking up a team high 25 points. The 2013 point guard knocked down some big shots at crucial points in the game and distributed the ball effectively to his teammates.
Garden City Head Coach Phil Penner spoke about Magpantay’s performance, “I thought that if we could maintain our composure and work through that we’d be okay. A big part of that tonight was Joshua. Our third year veteran point guard that controlled the tempo and got us in our right steps and we made some plays down the stretch.”
Not to be out done, was Tynan Reyes who had a monster tournament, earned MVP honours for his performance over the three games. The battle of the bigs, Reyes 6’6 and 6’7 Nathan Warburton was a highlighted match up from the beginning as both battled hard down low with Reyes slightly taking the advantage over Warburton scoring 18 points and gobbling up rebounds.
However, the premier matchup was with the guard play as Junior Sesay and Casey Blanca were matched up against Joshua Magpantay, Byron Oduca and Ryan Hawley. Sesay was first matched up on Magpantay but Blanca stepped in to try and slow down the speedy Magpantay.
Heading into the halftime break, Garden City looked to be in a comfortable 49-36 lead, but a high powered scoring attack in the third quarter by Sesay and Blanca combined for 27 points. The Oak Park deficit was only one heading into the final quarter.
The Oak Park attack soon ran out of steam as they only managed to muster six points in the final quarter. Tynan Reyes, who was almost unstoppable all tournament went to work down low grabbing rebounds and scoring seven points in the final frame.
Looking forward, Garden City seems like the team to beat as they have now beaten Oak Park (twice) and St. Paul’s (NPH #11) in the young season. However, they know that they still have plenty of work to do before provincials in March.
“You can see here that all of the games are very close and there are a couple teams that are good but aren’t here. There is a lot of parody in high school basketball and in about two and a half months from now everyone is going to be a lot better,” explained Coach Penner.
MVP Tynan Reyes spoke to NPH about the tournament and about being the team to beat.
“It’s a good warm-up to the season. It happens to one team every year, and this year it’s us so, we’ve got to play hard every single game and we’re one of those teams that has to grind for every minute.”
NPH Top Performers
- Joshua Magpantay – 25pts
- Tynan Reyes – 18pts
- Jowel Shuffler – 16pts
- Ryan Hawley – 13pts
- Junior Sesay – 29pts
- Casey Blanca – 20pts
- Brendan Alexander – 16pts
HS 3rd place: Kildonan East 80 – St. Paul’s 61
KEC: Ayob Ayob 25pts
St. Paul’s: Justus Alleyn 20pts
HS 5th place: Glenlawn 74 – John Taylor 59
Glenlawn: Brennan Moore 17pts
John Taylor: Derrick McIntyre 17pts
Tournament MVP: Tynan Reyes – Garden City
Tournament All-Stars: Justus Alleyn, Joshua Magpantay, Ayob Ayob, Casey Blanca, Junior Sesay