For the first time in more than a decade, a PECI senior boys basketball team has captured a tournament championship at the Brockville Collegiate Institute Christmas Classic.
“The boys should be very proud of this win,” said coach Rob Garden. “Not only does it show the potential that these guys have, but it also validates all of the hard work they have been putting in. Special congratulations to Morgan Johnson who was named the tournament’s most valuable player.”
Coach Garden provides a recap of the games:
Game 1 vs Rideau District Highschool:
The boys knew what was at stake, and they knew that in order to reach our goal, we needed to win the first game. They started the game with a lot of energy and focus, and built a 18 – 13 lead after 1 quarter. For the first this time this season, we tried to create some scoring by utilizing a full court press. Unfortunately, the energy and aggressive pressure defence also led to a few over-aggressive fouls for Taylor Reddick and Morgan Johnson and they had to sit for the entire second quarter. This, coupled with a strong shooting quarter from Rideau allowed them to claw back and take a 22 – 20 lead at the break. At half, coach Ernie MacMillan talked to the boys about the need to play better defence and the boys responded, only allowing Rideau to score 2 points in the third quarter, and take a 33 – 24 lead going into the 4th quarter. We controlled the tempo pretty well in the 4th quarter, and won the game 41 – 32. Reddick scored 12, Scott McQuaid 7, and Johnson had 6.
Game 2 vs Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute:
We had a chance to watch KCVI on Friday night and we knew we would be in tough. They were long and could shoot the ball from the perimeter. They had 1 dominant post player who put up 36 points on Friday night, so we gave Johnson a challenge to shut him down. The game was tightly contested from the start. We were down 18-15 after 1 quarter, tied 24 – 24 at half, down 34-33 after 3 quarters, but won the game 47 – 45 when it counted. We never led the entire game until 5 minutes to go in the game. Coach MacMillan put full court pressure on with 5 min to go and KCVI was unprepared and we were able to score 4 quick points. Down the stretch, we played very smart. The boys were able to constantly break the full court pressure KCVI put on us, and instead of just trying to score, they pulled the ball back and ran as much clock as possible. Mark Mitchell and Reddick went 3/4 from the free throw line in the last minute to seal the victory! Johnson played his best game of the year, scoring 17 points and limiting their best player to only 15 points. George Goddard had 4 huge points, while Reddick was consistent and scored 17 points, including 4 three pointers. Matt Gallo and Jamie Ferguson played their roles by playing outstanding defence.
Game 3 vs Brockville Collegiate Institute.
This was the first tournament final for the senior boys in over 12 years. We were expecting the guys to be nervous, but they were calm and ready to win. BCI had used a very quick full court press to beat their first 2 opponents by a margin of 30+ points. We had a meeting with the guys before the game and drew up a few plays to beat the press. The guys applied what we asked them to do, and BCI was forced to take the press off. BCI ran a junk defence where they played a trapping 1-1-2 zone, while playing man to man defence against Reddick. We have been waiting for someone else to score all season, and when it counted, Johnson, Mitchell and McQuaid stepped up. McQuaid scored 5, Mitchell scored 8 and Johnson scored 18 pts, while also grabbing 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the year. Reddick fought through the pressure and chipped in 12 points. Bob Wilson also had his best game of the year rebounding hard and scoring a clutch 5 points. Unlike the game vs KCVI, we were in control of this one for 3 quarters; we were down 17 – 10 after the first quarter, but had a great second quarter and went up 21-18 at half, 36 – 33 after 3 quarters, and 48 – 38 at the end of the game.
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