The 13th Annual Rod Thomson Memorial Tournament hosted by Burnaby South has seen eight Senior Boys Teams fighting for their spot in the final of this illustrious tournament. After two days of fierce competition, the final matchups of the senior draw were set and teams ready to leave it all on the floor to end 2017.
7th/8th Place - #2 “AAA” McMath Wildcats vs #5 “AAA” North Delta Huskies
It seems very odd to say that the teams playing in the 7th/8th place game could very well be the two teams playing in the “AAA” Provincial Final come March. Both teams had very tough schedules through the tournaments opening days and both teams came up just short in the win column through their first games. Thus, in the 7th/8th place game the #2 “AAA” McMath Wildcats faced off against the #5 “AAA” North Delta Huskies in a high stakes 7th/8th place game. In a game that went back and forth throughout, it was the North Delta Huskies who emerged victorious led by #5 Arun Atker with 21 points. Final score 71-70 for the Huskies.
Consolation Final 4th/6th - HM “AAA” Richmond Colts vs #9 “AAAA” Kitsilano Blue Demons
The provincially ranked Blue Demons and Colts both played two tough games to open the tournament and earn their way to the Consolation Final. Kitsilano lost its opening round game against the #7 “AAAA” Handsworth Royals before bouncing back to defeat #2 “AAA” McMath Wildcats. Richmond came up short against the home team #6 “AAAA” Burnaby South Rebels and fought their way to a win over the #5 “AAA” North Delta Huskies.
The first quarter was one with very little defense as the score was 28-22 for the Colts. Despite being outsized at almost every possession it was clear the AAA Colts would not back down and were up for the challenge. #9 Murad Mohammed opened the quarter leading the Colts with 11 points.
#3 Ace Adano of Richmond opened the second quarter with a deep “3”. For Kitsilano it was #11 Tyrone Asenoguan forcing the issue driving to the rim. Four minutes into the second quarter the Blue Demons had done enough to tie the game at 31. The Colts kept firing away and it was #10 Anton Poburko who knocked down the next triple which was followed by a “3” from #3 Ace Adano to push the lead back up to seven. Despite being undersized, the Colts were causing problems for the Blue Demons with their double teams forcing the taller Kits players to miss close shots against two defenders. At the half the Colts led 42-35.
To open the second half it was clear Kitsilano was simply playing defense with more intensity than in the first half, causing turnovers which allowed them to get to their transition game. #11 Tyrone Asenoguan would score 12 points in the quarter. For the Colts #9 Murad Mohammed continued his strong game notching eight points, with a couple of three balls. The Colts would still hold their lead entering fourth 63-55 looking for an upset.
For Kitsilano it was now or never. They opted for now. The Blue Demons took their defense to a new level which would cause the Colts into back-to-back shot clock violations in the early minutes. #4 Payton Lum of Kitsilano would secure a rebound and send a long pass to a wide open #11 Tyrone Asenoguan for an easy bucket that would tie the game at 63. #11 Tyrone Asenoguan would score then next four points as well off of an acrobatic layup in traffic followed by a two handed dunk after picking the pocket of the offensive player near halfcourt. For the Colts, #21 Ahmed Shehata got a two point basket that would stop the bleeding and the Kitsilano Run. When the final buzzer sounded, The Blue Demons had stopped the Colts upset bid in its track and ended the game with a 74-67 win.
3rd/5th Place - Carson Graham Eagles vs Western Canada Redhawks
The 3rd/5th place game was no doubt a statement game for both the Eagles and Redhawks. The Carson Graham Eagles are looking to make a name for themselves in the “AAAA” ranks after an opening round win against the #5 “AAA” North Delta Huskies and a game in which they held their own against the #6 Burnaby South Rebels in the semis. For the Western Canada Redhawks, a longstanding Alberta powerhouse, the pride of an entire province rests on their shoulders to show that the top Alberta teams can continually battle with the top teams in British Columbia. The Redhawks won their opening game against the #2 “AAA” McMath Wildcats but lost a close semi-final game against the #7 “AAAA” Handsworth Royals.
This game could very well be the “All Gear” Game of the tournament with Carson Graham rocking their pinstripe “Hoosiers” pants and Western Canada donning their slick red Jordan Brand jerseys. The game started with a blistering pace, but halfway through the quarter the score was only 6-4 in favour of the Redhawks. #5 Jade Duque of the Eagles got a nice up-and-under layup to fall off of a high ball screen that tied the game up at eight a piece and #10 AJ Lartey of the Eagles followed that up with a wide open transition “3”. The Redhawks ended the quarter on a 6-0 run led by guard #5 Eiiada Ewa who was causing havoc on the defensive end and slashing to create opportunities on the offensive side.
To begin the second quarter, the speedy tandem of #3 Chris Demetillo and #5 Jade Duque of Carson Graham caused troubles for the Redhawks as they were penetrating at will creating opportunities for themselves and others. The Redhawks might have been up by 15 halfway through the second but they couldn’t get their layups to fall. #5 Jade Duque of Carson Graham continued his attack and dropped in a pair of floaters to tie the game at 19 making the out-of-town team call a timeout. #8 Boris Stanic of Redhawks got a three ball to fall but the Eagles immediately answered with #10 AJ Lartey driving to the bucket for an easy two off a high ball screen. A pair of steals off back to back inbounds plays with less than 30 seconds left allowed the Redhawks to bring the score within three at the half. The score was 32-29 for the Eagles entering the locker rooms.
The Redhawks emerged from the locker room an entirely different team. All of a sudden shots were falling and layups that were rolling around the rim were dropping. #12 Ben Gilbert led the Redhawks with seven points in the quarter. By the end of the third the Redhawks had opened up a 57-37 lead, holding the the Eagles to just five points in the frame.
#11 Jack Ballard of the Eagles opened the quarter with a strong take to the rim for an easy two points. #8 Boris Stanic Redhawks and #5 Jade Duque of the Eagles traded threes, but the Eagles would need stops early and often if they wanted to close the gap. With the Western Canada motion offence now running smoothly the Redhawks would keep extending their lead. It truly was a game of two different halves for the team from Calgary. By the time the final buzzer sounded, the score was 76-50 in favour of the Redhawks.