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Written By CHRIS SALES
The CDDHS Junior Boys basketball team travelled to Aurora December 7 - 8 to participate in the 17th annual St. Andrew's College invitational tournament, with high expectations.
The Royals easily defeated Brooklin HS from Whitby (60-37) and Holy Cross HS from St. Catherines (61-15) on Friday (Dec. 8) to advance to the Championship semi finals Saturday (Dec. 8)
Team leaders on Friday included Sarim Qureshi, Nathan Isaac, Aaron Cunningham and Zach Davis.
The Saturday morning game pitted the Royals against the defending champion from Stephen Lewis SS Sharks from Thornhill.
The CDDHS team jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter using an aggressive press and timely scoring. The Royals stretched that lead with a great third quarter only to see the Sharks mount a ferocious comeback in the final quarter. The Shelburne team hung on to claim the victory 53-51 as Griffen Ladner secured the final rebound as time expired. Abel Sales dominated the paint to lead all scorers with 16 points in the game.
This set up the championship game against the host school, St. Andrews Saints.
Despite the Saints throwing a suffocating zone defence at them, the Royals patiently ran their offence and built up a nine point halftime lead to 34-25. The third quarter saw St. Andrews chip away at the Royals lead and finally jump ahead 51-50 early in the fourth quarter. The Royals were not to be denied and finished the game strong with a 17-5 run that earned them the Championship, with a final score of 68-55. “I've been bringing teams to this tournament for over a decade,'' said assistant coach Chris Sales, “and we've never won the whole thing! This is an awesome achievement. What a great team effort we had this weekend. It's hard to win four games in a row - especially with the calibre of teams that were here.”
In the championship game the Royals grade nine player Tailon Crawford poured in a phenomenal 33 points, plus numerous steals and assists - earning MVP honours.
“He was pretty much in on every basket we scored”, said coach Shane Trainor, “It didn't take long this weekend before all the other coaches and teams were asking about him. He put it all together in that championship game. He's a special player.”
But the success of the team does not revolve around one player. Trainor went on to say “It's such a blessing to have a group of young student athletes that understand the concept of team values. It doesn't matter if we are up by 50 or down by 2 with a couple seconds left, this group supports and trusts each other. The bench cheers on the players on the floor, and I can make substitutions and have confidence that any group of five will work together as a unit.”
The Junior Royals now have a perfect record with 8 straight wins, and continue league play this week.
Post date: 2018-12-20 13:57:24
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Post modified date: 2018-12-20 13:57:32
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