The New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association crowned their provincial basketball champions this past weekend at Harbour Station in Saint John.
In their annual showcase of the top two teams from each division (men’s and women’s) there were some fantastic individual and team accomplishments.
In NBIAA Men’s A Division the Harvey Lakers earned the right to cut down the mesh with a 71-60 win over the Rothesay Netherwoods Redhawks.
Andrew Milner and Brett Curtis locked heads in one on the better individual matchups of the weekend. These two players went toe to toe and Milner finished with 33pts and 11rebs, whileCurtis finished with 32pts and 8rebs. But at the end of the day it comes down to team and the Lakers had more players chip in and help get the team victory and the championship by outscoring Rothesay 27-17 in a decisive 4th Q.
In NBIAA Men’s AA Division Keegan Gray and Hunter Gray took care of business for the Woodstock Thunder in a 73-61 win over Fundy Mariners. Woodstock is a perennial power in New Brunswick high school hoops and it showed in this game.
Hunter Gray and Keegan both excellent shooters led Woodstock with 31 and 26 respectively. Ryley Anthony led Fundy with 18pts 13rebs and Alex Wilkins chipped in with 10pts and 12rebs.
This makes BACK 2 BACK Provincial Championships for The Thunder.
In NBIAA AAA Men’s the Riverview Royals and the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders went to battle in a tale of two different stories.
Kennebecasis was known as a provincial contender right from the start whereas Riverview was a solid team that may have been considered just outside that realm.
Well, the Royals showed that they were for real with a 69-66 win over the Crusaders. Gbemi Oguntona maybe the most gifted natural athlete I have ever seen on the east coast, and went 11/15 in the game dropping 23 points and grabbing 11 boards. Jordan Rose also contributed big with 23pts and 10rebs to help his team grab the banner.
Kennebecasis was led by Chris Spurrel with 20 and Jack Tiley chipped in with 18.
The story of this game was style and efficiency. Riverview pounded away in the paint and converted on easy FGs well Kennebecasis bombed away from beyond the arc. With Kennebecasis up 7 going into the fourth Riverview forced them into tougher shots and outscored them 25-15 to get the 3 point victory. Coach Gerard Reinders stated “getting healthy was a big key but they have certainly bought in” as the reason for their first banner in 7 years.
Women’s result will be published later this week.
Citadel VS Auburn
In NSSAF Divison 1 Hoops the Capital Region (Metro League) slashed through their playoffs in a very quick four days with the championship coming down to Citadel High vs Auburn Drive High.
In a high octane game that had highlight play after highlight play the game ended with Auburn taking a 106-103 win on Citadel’s home floor.
For the first half the game stayed close as the two teams went hoop for hoop with a mini run here and there. Dakelle Brooks and Jace Colley were providing highlight real dunks to provide huge energy in the gym and Johneil Johnson did what he does. Picks his spots and makes opportunity for a 20pt first half and a 57-54 lead. Antonio Kostakos led a balanced Citadel attack with 12pts.
In the 3rd Q Auburn came out with more intensity and energy and extended to a 12 point lead but a late serge in the quarter with threes by Jack Campbell and then 2 by Jayden Smith made it a 85-81 Auburn lead.
Auburn again extended to a 10 point lead but Tyler Martin broke down the Auburn D late to create solid scoring drives and Citadel narrowed the gap and gave themselves opportunity to win. Down the stretch Auburn was solid with the ball and held on for the slim 3 point win and a probable #1 seed for provincials.
In speaking with Auburn’s top four seniors (Levi Smith III, Johneil Johnson, Greg Manual and Andrew Beaulieu) they all echoed the same thing “we are blessed to be playing with one another and we are blessed to have these opportunities and to be so successful”
Auburn and Citadel advance to NSSAF Division 1 Provincials.
CP Allen and Prince Andrew play Monday February 23 for the last bye and the loser plays in Qualifier this coming weekend at Riverview High School in Caper Breton with Sir John A, Halifax Grammar and Horton.
The AUS regular season has ended and the playoffs are all set and ready to role. The regular season and the AUS championship history has taught us that anything can happen at Scotia Bank Centre (The Metro Centre).
The UNB Varsity Reds have been not only the best team in AUS but obviously the most consistent. The final standings are below and we will break down the championship tournament later this week.
|*Saint Mary’s||20||13||7||0.650||Won 2||1703||1626||34|
|*Cape Breton||20||11||9||0.550||Lost 1||1603||1563||30|