Competing hard under the net during the opening game of the Dalbrae Winter Classic are Logan Gillis, of the Dragons, and George Schneeberger, of the CBHA Huskies.
-by Bill Dunphy
A strong defensive effort by the Dalbrae Dragons could not make up for the missed shots and the SAERC Saints took full advantage to win the boys division of the Dalbrae Winter Classic on Saturday.
The Saints’ balanced attack saw eight players get on the score sheet to give SAERC a comfortable lead through three quarters of the final on the way to a 66-58 victory.
The threat of bad weather kept Springhill out of the tournament, turning the boys event into a three-team tourney that also included the Cape Breton Highlands Huskies.
Saints centre Breton MacNeil led his squad with 18 points in three quarters of work before getting a rest in the fourth quarter.
Point guards Matthew Reynolds and Cameron MacDougall combined for 29 points, 16 and 13 respectively, draining killer three-point shots with ease at times.
“These were our first games coming off exams and it took a while to get our legs back,” said SAERC coach Jason Seymour. “We didn’t go full speed, all I wanted was execution. It was a very good tournament for us heading into the Coal Bowl.”
Seymour said the Saints, who have nine grade 12s in the lineup, have a great leader in MacDougall, who was named MVP of the tournament.
Also scoring for SAERC: Brendan MacDonald, 7; player of the game Owen MacLean, 6; Devon Pottie, 3; Zach Cameron, 2; Jasques Gerroir, 1.
Dalbrae was led by Noah Dunn, one of the most dynamic guards in high school basketball, who’s 32 points included four treys, seven field goals, and six points off the line.
Also scoring for the Dragons: Griffen Spears, 8; Logan Gillis, 7; player of the game Colby MacLean, 6; Will MacEachern, 5.
Dalbrae coach Robyn Wilson said the Dragons will continue to work on their conditioning and defence heading into The Brendan and then regional playdowns.
“We’re working on different types of defence; from man-to-man which we used to play to two different zone defences,” Wilson said. “I don’t worry too much about my offence, we have lots of skilled players, but with a good defence you can stop a stronger team.”
The Dragons have played approximately 24 games this season and recently won their league tournament with a win over Guysborough.
“We lost to Guysborough three times this season but won the one that counted,” she said.
“In the games we’ve lost, we’ve played really well; in the games we won, we didn’t play so well in that we tend to let up on teams.”
Dalbrae opened their tourney on Friday with a 65-55 win over Cape Breton Highlands.
Dunn, who was player of the game, and Liam Van Zutphen led the Dragons with 26 and 21 respectively. Also scoring: Spears, ,7; MacLean, 5; MacEachern, 4; Bela Gyorfi, 2.
Noah Doucette led the Huskies with 28 points. Also scoring: George Schneeberger, 11; Nicholas Roach, 6; Caleb Ross, who was player of the game, and Nicholas Fortune, 5 each.
In the first meeting between the Saints and Dragons, SAERC built a 33-23 lead at the half and held on for a 69-64 win.
Stewart MacDonald earned player of the game honours for SAERC with a 26-point game. Also scoring: MacNeil, 19; Gerroir, 10; MacDougall, 9; MacLean, 3; Brendan MacDonald, 2.
Noah Dunn had a monster game for Dalbrae, hitting for 42 points. Also scoring: Gillis, 17; Spears, 4; MacLean, 1.
And in the final round-robin game, SAERC defeated CBHA 64-54.
Matthew Reynolds was the Saints’ player of the game, scoring 25 points. Also scoring: MacLean, 9; Brendan MacDonald and MacNeil, 8 each; MacDougall, 5; Ben MacDonald, 3; Gerroir, Nick Cadogan, and Cameron, 2 each.
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