On the first day back to school in 2018, an exhibition game between the David Thompson Trojans and Sir Charles Tupper Tigers took place in the heart of Vancouver.
Both teams got out to a quick start, but it was the visiting Trojans who held a 8-6 lead only two minutes into the game. It was clear both teams were trying to establish a fast paced game, but when their transition attacks failed the game slowed in the half court as both teams settled into their zone defences. Midway through the quarter, the Tigers defence starting causing some turnovers and rushing the Trojan players with their press. This allowed forward #13 Simon Crossfield of the home team to score back-to-back baskets tying the game up at 10. The game continued back and forth including a “3” from David Thompson #23 Dilpreet Badyal and a pair of triples from #3 Gaurab Acharya of Tupper. An “airball” by the Tigers near the end of the quarter fortunately fell right into the hands of another Tiger player who put it back up quickly to beat the buzzer. After one quarter, it was the home team Tigers who held the lead 17-16.
In the second quarter, the visitors got out to another quick start on the offensive end, but it was their defence that earned them the lead. Fueled on offence by #5 Ryan Meeraiya, who would go on to knock down three triples in the quarter, the Trojans went on a 9-0 run that gave the visitors a nine point lead only four minutes into the quarter. Charles Tupper forward, #17 Matthew Dunkerley, calmed the Tigers down with his composure when the Tigers need it most, providing a big target in the middle of the Trojans press and securing a number of defensive rebounds. At the halftime buzzer, the David Thompson Trojans held the lead 35-27 entering the changerooms.
Both teams exited the changerooms fairly quickly, which allowed the players to get shots up during the break. The extra shots clearly paid off, as the third quarter was a shootout. #30 Brandon Peers of David Thompson struck first but was answered immediately by #12 Ranell Sebastian of Tupper. Off of an inbounds play, #5 Ryan Meeraiya hit another triple for the visitors. #12 Gaurab Acharya of Tupper used another “3” and a pro-hop past two defenders to finish at the hoop followed by an easy bucket from #19 Benson Laconsay who got a steal off a lazy outlet pass that would close the deficit to just one point. #30 Brandon Peers of David Thompson stopped the Tupper run with a personal 5-0 run with an easy two followed by a corner “3” of his own. #12 Ranell Sebastian of Tupper would hit his third triple of the quarter and a couple minutes late a pair of free throws by #3 Gaurab Acharya tied the game at 46. David Thompson would recover towards the end of the quarter, but their lead was now just 54-50 entering the final frame.
Not looking to lose on their homecourt, the Tigers opened the quarter on a 12-0 run behind the continued strong play of #17 Matthew Dunkerley, who saved his best for last, scoring 11 points in the final quarter. David Thompson’s #7 Nathan Dar stopped the Tupper run with a “3” for their first bucket of the quarter and #4 Janmark Pama used a euro-step against the Tiger defence to cut their lead down to just four points with five minutes to play. The tandem of #17 Matthew Dunkerley and #15 Luke Tobias, the Tigers Grade 9 standout, were causing all sorts of problems for the David Thompson defence in the quarter using their size to create opportunities and second chances. The Tigers extended their lead to 12 behind a twisting transition lay-up from #12 Ranell Sebastian and a “3” from #13 Simon Crossfield with just two minutes to go. Doing his best to keep the Trojans in the game, #6 Vincent Hisung hit three of his six triples in the last couple of minutes of the game, but it wasn’t enough. Final score 88-79 for the Charles Tupper Tigers.