It was a special night for Canadian basketball as the National Preparatory Association took flight in Wilcox, Saskatchewan in front of a packed house, naturally sporting the red and the white.
The #2-ranked BC Christian Panthers visited the #8 Notre Dame Hounds.
Keenan Dowell led all scorers dropping 26 points while helping #2 B.C Christian Panthers defeat #8 Athol Murray College of Notre Dame Hounds 96-82. Dowell connected of 6 of 11 from beyond the arc, shooting 54.5% from the three point line.
Notre Dame hosts BC Christian in a rematch Nov 5 in Northwest Division action.
The Panthers held on to a slim 42-39 lead at halftime, but came out of the gates strong in the second half and extended their lead to 12 to finish the 3rd, led by 10 third quarter points from Dowell.
“That’s a good team here in Wilcox,” said Kimani Shotwell, Head Coach of B.C. Christian. “They’ve got a great coaching staff over there, and a great atmosphere, and they gave us everything we could handle. Coach Huffman [Adam Huffman, Head Coach of Notre Dame] had those boys very prepared, they were hitting on all cylinders. When a team comes out and plays you like that, you can either respond or lay down. So I was very proud of my boys for responding in the second half.”
B.C Christian also had help from Kaan Tari and Przemek Golek, who added 13 and 11 points respectively in the win.
Jashon Henry led the way for Notre Dame, adding 23 points, five rebounds, and two assists for the Hounds. Shol Ayach also contributed 19 points and five rebounds in the losing effort.
Coach Adam Huffman and the Hounds proved to be able to hang with BC, however ran out of juice in the fourth quarter, as the Panthers took control.
“I told my team at half, we are not in the NPA for easy wins, we are here for tough games every night,” said Shotwell. “Keenan showed a lot of leadership by stepping up and making plays, not just on the offensive end but also getting guys to follow his lead on the court.”
The Panthers begin the season with a 1-0 record, but will expect adjustments to be made by the Hounds in game two.
In NPA Eastern Conference action, Toronto Basketball Academy will make their way over to St. Michael’s College Saturday November 5th at 3pm for the first action in the Southeast Division.