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East Coast Round Up Edition #4
Championship basketball season is upon us and some teams have already been relegated into the off-season to think about, and work for the summer club season as well as 2014-15.
Other teams are ramping it up and devising game plans for winning provincial and league championships.
As we enter the most important month of the basketball season, teams have grown from November, where leaders have been established, along with each player’s role on the team.
With that being said, the next twenty or so days will dictate, which team enters March most prepared, and ultimately who will be crowned champion.
The last two weekends of AUS basketball allowed for some fireworks as teams jostled for playoff positioning. The team providing the most drama came from an unlikely source, the Memorial Seahawks. With the UPEI Panthers ventured to “The Rock” with an opportunity to lock up the second spot in league standings and a first round playoff bye, the Sea Hawks were looking to play spoiler. That’s exactly what they did.
Vasilje Curcic with 28pts, 12 rebounds and Caleb Gould (18pts 14rebs) absolutely owned the paint and led Memorial to a 83-78 win in the first game over UPEI on Saturday. Going into Sunday, I’m sure the UPEI fan base thought theres no way we’re giving up the weekend sweep. Memorial executed and delivered and did the Saint Mary’s Huskies a huge favor dropping the Panthers 103-97 behind Davion Parsula’s 32pts and 7asts.
The sweep allowed the above mentioned Huskies to move into the second spot and the bye week. The UNB Varsity Reds needed to get something going this weekend or they would be entering the offseason in a bad way–on a nine-game losing streak. UNB went to work and got two solid home wins. One over Cape Breton 88-75, with Javon Masters putting up 28 in the victory and Dan Quirion returning from injury to score 24. Stephen Goosens came off the bench to lead Cape Breton with 18.
In their last game of the season the Varsity Reds hosted the St FX X-Men, with the X-Men looking to slide into the 3rd spot in the standings. UNB put together a second excellent game and defeated the X-Men 91-78. Again Javon Masters led UNB (23 and 7asts) with William McPhee chipping in 20 off the bench. Jordan Clarke led the X-Men with 25.
But enough of looking back, lets look ahead at the playoff schedule and a playoff preview to drop later this week.
Men’s Championship, Halifax Metro Centre
Friday February 28
#3 University of Prince Edward Island Panthers vs #6 Cape Breton Capers 8:15pm
Saturday February 29
#1 Acadia Axemen vs Winner Quarter Final #1 6:00pm
#2 Saint Mary’s Huskies vs Winner Quarter Final #2 8:00pm
Sunday March 2nd 2:00pm
Atlantic University Sport Championship Game
#4 University of Memorial Sea Hawks vs #5 University of Dalhousie Tigers 6:00pm
#3 University of Cape Breton Capers vs #6 University of Prince Edward Island Panthers 8:00pm
Saturday February 29
#1 Saint Mary’s University Huskies vs Winner Quarter Final #1 6:00pm
#2 St Francis Xavier University X-Men vs Winner Quarter Funal #2 8:00pm
Sunday March 2nd 2:00pm
AUS Championship Game
Hosted at Dalhousie Agricultural College in Truro Nova Scotia
Friday February 28 Quarter-Finals
11:00am Women#6 Mount Allison vs #3 Mount Saint Vincent University – Women
1:00pm Women #4 University of Kings College vs #5 University of New Brunswick Saint John – Women
3:00pm #6 Kings College vs #3 Holland College – Men
5:00pm #4 St Thomas University vs #5 Mount Allison University – Men
Saturday March 1 Semi-finals
1:00pm #1 St Thomas University vs _____________Women
3:00pm #2 Holland College vs _________________Women
6:00pm # 1 Crandal University vs _______________ Men
8:00pm #2 Mount Saint Vincent University vs _________________ Men
Sunday March 2 Championship Game
New Brunswick High School Basketball
The Fredericton High Black Kats are the first school to give a banner a new home. The Black Kats struggled a bit early in the season and lost to some teams they should of beat. Well, lets say they were finding themselves. They looked fantastic in the Dairytown Classic losing a tight game to a star-studded Alma Academy team.
From here, as they did in 2013, the Black Kats rolled through the New Brunswick Playoffs but the process was a little tougher this time around. Any championship game that is the pinnacle of your level is intense and pressure packed.
This years NBIAA AAA Championship game was that much more as Fredericton High faced cross town rival Leo Hayes. The Black Kats led the game throughout but Leo Hayes was always right there looking to strike and they did down the stretch but Fredericton held on for the slimmest of margins and a 71-70 win.
The Black Kats were led by player of the game Val Nelson who dropped 22 points. Stanley Mayambo netted 12 with Dan Luton and Sawyer Eddy contributing 10 each. For the Lions Jake Urquhart dropped 19 and Jared Stafford contributed 18.
Fredericton guard Stanley Mayambo sums up the rivalry.
“It’s always great being in such a competitive rivalry but doing it on this stage is awesome,” explained Mayambo.
“All of us pushed each other every day in practice and never were satisfied until we got a hold of the banner. Being such a great TEAM gave us all the confidence and trust in each other to get the job done.”
On the women’s side the Benice McNaughton Highlanders captured the NBIAA AAA Championship by defeating Kennebecasis Valley 52-44.
NBIAA AA Provincial Championships
Men’s Woodstock High School 58 Carleton North High School 50
Women’s Woodstock High School 82 Rothesay High School 67
NBIAA A Provincial Championships
Men’s Hartland Community School 75 Grand Manan Community School 49
Women’s John Caldwell School 69 Caledonia Regional High School 42
Nova Scotia High School Basketball
Capital Region Championships
In the Capital Region final, #1 Auburn Drive Eagles hosted the #2 Citadel Phoenix. These two teams are very evenly matched as shown by
their previous meeting: a one-point win at the buzzer for Auburn.
The Eagles again jumped on Citadel in the first quarter 24-21. Citadel locked down on defence and over the last eight minutes of the second quarter outscored Auburn 16-8 to give them a 40-34 lead at the half. Citadel maintained its lead throughout the 3rd quarter behind strong play from Liam Johnston, Colin Smith and Tyler Brown.
Johneil Johnson put on his super man cape at the beginning of the fourth ripping off 8 early points including a nasty 2 hander to cut the Citadel lead to 3. However, timely three’s by Marquise Downey and offensive boards by Liam Johnston as well as strong paint play from Colin Smith allowed Citadel to open up the lead again and cruise to a 82-75 win.
Also impressive for Citadel was Tyler Martin who came up with key defensive plays and shots. Marquise Downey led Citadel with 31 and Tyler Brown chipped in with 17. Johneil Johnson led Auburn with 22 and Levi Smith III contributed 21.
Liam Johnston sums his team up as “last year we lost 5 seniors and our starting lineup and not many gave us a chance, so we played with a chip on our shoulders and we played together.” Colin smith goes on to talk about their senior core saying, “some teams have captains, but this team has leaders”.
Citadel and Auburn qualify for provincials as well as Prince Andrew who defeated Sackville High in the 3rd place game.
Western Region Championships
Horton High defeated Parkview Education Centre
Highland Region Championship
Sydney Academy defeated Riverview High School
Northumderland Region Championship
Cobequid Educational Centre defeated North Nova Education Centre
Sackville High (4th Capital), Halifax Grammar (5th Capital), CP Allen (6th Capital), Riverview (2nd Highland), North Nova (2nd Northumberland) all travelled to a Qualifier hosted by the second place Western Region finisher Park View. With 6 teams already into the NSSAF 2014 Provincial Championship the top 2 teams from the Qualifier also advance.
The CP Allen Cheetahs went to the Qualifier with a mindset of – we belong in provincials and ripped through the round robin play with 108-62 win over Halifax Grammar and then followed that up with a 104-52 win over North Nova to claim 1st place in their pool. Halifax Grammar earned a crossover spot by defeating North Nova.
Sackville claimed 1st place in their pool with a 84-70 win over Parkview and a 66-60 win over Riverview. Parkview earned a spot in the pool crossover game with a win over Riverview.
CP Allen continued its qualifier dominance by torching the Park View Panthers 92-52 to earn the 5th spot in Provincials. In the other crossover game the Halifax Grammar Gryphons defeated Sackville 81-43. This game lost some of its luster with Sackville losing 2 key players to injury.
NSSAF Division 1 Provincial Championships, Citadel High School – Halifax Nova Scotia
Thursday February 27
2:00pm #1 Citadel vs. #8 Sydney
4:00pm #4 CEC vs. #5 Prince Andrew
6:00pm #2 Auburn vs . #7 Halifax Grammar
8:00pm #3 Horton vs. #6 CP Allen
Friday February 28
2:00pm Loser (1 vs. 8) vs. Loser (4 vs. 5)
4:00pm Loser (2 vs. 7) vs. Loser (3 vs. 6)
6:00pm Semi-Final – Winner (2 vs. 7) vs. Winner (3 vs. 6)
8:00pm Semi-Final – Winner (1 vs. 8) vs. Winner (4 vs. 5)
Saturday March 1 Note: Saturday’s games will be played at SMU, 920 Tower Road
9:00am Losers of Friday afternoon game for 7th place
11:00am Winners of Friday afternoon games for 5th place
1:00pm Losers of Friday evening games for 3rd place
3:00pm Championship Game