WINNIPEG, MB–Winnipeg and Brandon needed more than regulation to decide which team would walk away with the best record at the Lea Marc Printing Tournament. The Brandon Bobcats emerged victorious in the extra frame defeating the Winnipeg Wesmen 83-80 in a game that had both teams going back and forth.
The home team Wesmen jumped out to a solid start and took a 27-19 lead after the first quarter. Winnipeg looked comfortable until the Bobcats started to force turnovers and cut the lead to only one heading into the halftime break.
In the second half, both teams continued to battle, as neither could take charge and pull away. Every time one team would take the lead, the other would punch right back. This turned into a dog fight between the two in-province programs, with bragging rights on the line.
With 1:15 left in the game, Brandon held a slim 67-65 lead. On a Jelane Pryce missed shot, he grabbed his own rebound and put it back for two, to tie it up, ultimately sending it to overtime.
Then the game turned up a notch. Ilarion Bonhomme, the tournament MVP started the overtime frame with a nice drive and bucket for two. A three point barrage from Pryce, Kenonte Ramsey, and then Travis Krahn answered for Winnipeg, giving the Wesmen a three point lead.
Jordan Reaves, who had gone 0-4 from three point range, knocked down the biggest shot of the game, giving the Bobcats a 78-77 lead with 38 seconds left in OT.
“I’m a fifth year, I know how the game goes, and if you can hit the shot, you gotta keep shooting. I knew I could hit that shot, and my teammates rely on me,” Reaves confidently stated.
Following a couple of possessions, Andrew Cunningham would hit a three pointer with seven seconds left to bring it within three. Jordan Clennon had a chance to push it into double overtime, but missed, giving Brandon the victory and a 2-0 record on the weekend.
“The thing that is different about this year is that when teams go on runs we stay together, we don’t put our heads down,” Reaves told NPH.
“We keep our heads high and we just play our game, and when we play our game, no one can beat us. We’ve got Vic, UBC, two really good teams off the bat and we hope to put them away to start the season,” said Reaves after the game.
Manitoba VS Lakehead
The second game was nearly identical to the first. Both Lakehead and Manitoba traded the lead back and forth throughout the game until the final quarter where Manitoba pulled away with the 74-72 victory.
A sloppy game between the two teams included 55 fouls and a slow offensive start. The game pace and intensity picked up in the second half and reached the peak in the fourth quarter as it came down to the wire.
Late in the fourth quarter, Lakehead led 61-56.
Justus Alleyn helped Manitoba battle back, and gave them the one point lead with 1:24 left in the contest. The Thunderwolves took the lead back once more, but would lose it on the next possession and for good. Interim head coach Matt Erdman was charged with a technical foul, and with Andre Arruda knocking down free throws, the game was out of reach.
Justus Alleyn spoke to NPH about the game and Manitoba’s preseason.
“We had to fight hard to get that W. That’s pretty much all it was, hard work. We made a lot of improvements from the beginning of the preseason up until now. We’re going to keep getting better so hopefully we’ll peak at the right time.”
NPH Top Performers:
Jordan Reaves – 17pts, 10rebs, 4asts, 2blks
Ilarion Bonhomme – 16pts, 9rebs, 6asts, 2stls
Emerick Ravier – 14pts, 9rebs, 2asts, 3stls
Steven Wesley – 16pts, 12rebs, 2blks, 2stls
Andrew Cunningham – 15pts, 5rebs, 13asts
Justus Alleyn – 18pts, 5rebs, 2asts
Andre Arruda – 15pts, 3rebs, 4asts
Anthony McIntosh – 28pts, 5rebs, 2asts
Dwayne Harvey – 10pts, 10rebs, 7asts
Final Tournament Records