Barons point guard Sahil Mirza searches for an open man during the Hugh Morrell Border Classic A-side final. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
The Sherwood Park Bev Facey Community High School Falcons are the 28th annual Hugh Morrell Border Classic champions.
The Falcons beat the host Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS) Barons 75-46 in the boys final at College Park School on Saturday evening.
A strong start for the Falcons played a big part in the team’s win as the club led by a commanding 19-3 score after the opening 10 minutes.
“We weren’t able to get together our offence,” said Barons centre Afaq Nabi. “Our offence was off, but we played a good defensive game. I feel like the first quarter killed us.”
The Barons, which notched 63-19 and 77-59 victories against the Outlook Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute High School Bisons and Saskatoon Bethlehem Catholic High School Stars, respectively, in the lead-up to the final, regained their composure in the second quarter matching the Falcons almost point for point on way to a 37-18 deficit by the half.
The team kept up the strong play in the third frame using driving efforts by forwards Ben Wright and Garret Hatchard to get to the line.
“It’s just a trend with us,” said Nabi. “We start off slow in the first quarter and then we start getting shots in the second, third and fourth.”
Falcons’ Alex Jap and Jacob Lavoie-Lindsay took over during the final 10 minutes of the contest by continually using their big frames to gain an advantage in close. Point guard Tryston Davies helped put a fork into the Barons late with a long three that brought the score to 71-40 with the home side seemingly unable to mount a counterattack.
“We really started to communicate early and that just carried out the whole game,” said Davies. “As we communicated we were able to jump those steals and switch on screens to get help a lot faster than we were before. I think that’s why we were so dominant on defence near the end.”
The Holy Rosary High School Raiders played opposite to their cross-town rivals at the Hugh Morrell Border Classic.
The Raiders lost their opening game 94-89 to the Edmonton Lillian Osborne High School Legends before bouncing back for a 63-19 win versus the Cold Lake High School Royals and a dominant 87-62 victory against the North Battleford John Paul II Collegiate High School Crusaders in the consolation final.
“It’s just trust between our guys,” said Raiders guard Ralion Simbulan. “I think our team chemistry just got better throughout the tournament and we got more confident.”
Simbulan helped the Raiders jump out to a quick 5-0 lead on the Crusaders with a three from the corner and lay-up off a drive down the sideline. The Raiders offence kept rolling from there leading to a 30-12 advantage after the first quarter and 51-29 lead by the half.
The Crusaders regrouped in the third thanks to strong inside the paint and beyond the arc work by Declan Wolousyn. However, a renewed focus on defence by the Raiders eventually pushed back the attack.
“We tried to lock down the front line and stop the transition because they were killing us in transition,” said Simbulan. “So, that played out really well in the second half.”
The Holy Rosary High School Raiders senior girls basketball team beat the Beauval Valley View Community School Voyageurs for the bronze medal. The LCHS Barons senior girls went 1-2 with their sole win coming in a lopsided 85-39 victory against Edmonton’s Mother Margaret Mary Catholic School Storm.
The Falcons A-side championship marked their third time winning the Hugh Morrell Border Classic and the team’s first title in six years.
Davies noted they felt a bit of rust heading into the tournament due to their recent exam schedule, but the gold was theirs for the taking once they decided to take care of the ball and control the tempo halfway through the competition.
“It’s pretty cool because this is our last tournament of the year,” said Davies, a senior at Bev Facey Community High School. “For the 12s, it’s pretty cool to get out of the last tournament with a win.”