| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 06:00 am
Thriller in Namao
The St. Albert Skyhawks pulled off a come-from-behind 73-72 thriller against the Sturgeon Spirits in Monday’s barnburner in metro Edmonton premier men’s basketball at Namao.
Ben Crother’s three-point shot with seven seconds to play put the Skyhawks on top.
When play resumed after a Spirits’ timeout, the Skyhawks doubled their best player, JP Leblanc (game-high 34 points), so the Spirits went to their second option. The shot hit the glass, the Skyhawks grabbed the ball and the Spirits fouled Landon Fink with 1.4 seconds left. Fink missed the first attempt, then intentionally missed the next free throw so the Spirits wouldn’t have time to put up a desperation shot.
“It was a great team win,” said Evan Holstein, head coach of the No. 3-ranked 3A Skyhawks.
It was a close game throughout, as the Skyhawks trailed 15-12 after the first quarter, 31-27 at halftime and 51-47 after three quarters.
With 30 seconds to go, and the Skyhawks down by two, Holstein told his players “not to foul and try and get the stop.” The gamble paid off.
“I then decided not to call a time out because the boys were feeling it and I wanted them to keep the momentum. We ran a ball screen for Cam (Vilcsak), he comes off and looks to penetrate and when the help off the wing comes he passes the ball to the corner to Ben and hits a three to give us the one point lead,” Holstein said.
Vilcsak was the Skyhawks’ top scorer with 21 points, but Crothers was the team’s best player with 16 points, including the game-winning shot.
The Skyhawks are now 4-4 for third place in pool A in premier, and 15-10 overall.
The Spirits are 3-5, tied with the Paul Kane Blues for second spot in pool B.
Today at 4:45 p.m. the Skyhawks play the Bev Facey Falcons (5-3 in pool A) in Sherwood Park and the Spirits visit the winless Bellerose Bulldogs at 6:15 p.m.
This weekend the Skyhawks host their second annual tournament at the SkyDome. Their opening game is 12:30 p.m. Friday against the St. Peter the Apostle Spartans. The winner plays the Edmonton Christian Lions (No. 2 in 3A) or the Leduc Tigers (No. 8 in 3A) in Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. semifinal. The other semifinal is 1:15 p.m.
The Strathcona Christian Academy Chargers, Bev Facey (4A honourable mention), Ernest Manning Griffins and Wetaskiwin Sabres (3A honourable mention) round out the eight-team draw.
Saturday’s schedule includes the consolation final at 4:45 p.m., third-place game at 6:30 p.m. and the final at 8:15 p.m.
The 26th win in 26 games for the St. Albert Skyhawks in high school women’s basketball was Monday’s 81-31 spanking of the winless Salisbury Sabres at the SkyDome.
The Skyhawks are 9-0 in the metro Edmonton premier conference going into today’s game against the O’Leary Spartans (4-4). Tip-off is 4:45 p.m. at O’Leary High School.
The 2012 premier champions and three-time reigning 3A provincial gold medallists are five-for-five in tournaments this season after whipping the host Chestermere Lakers (3A honourable mention) 81-31 in Saturday’s final.
The Skyhawks also thumped George McDougall of Airdrie 72-37 and defeated the Springbank Phoenix 66-36.
Grade 12 forward Paige Knull was selected the tournament MVP. Grade 12 guard Amber Easthope and Grade 11 forward Kayla Ivicak were named to the all-star team.
PK at Tri-Prov
Jacob Laxdal sank a team-high 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Paul Kane Blues past the Ross Sheppard Thunderbirds in Saturday’s third-place game at the 37th annual Harry Ainlay Titans Tri-Prov Tournament.
Frankie White also scored 15 points and had six steals in the 71-62 win over the Edmonton public league team.
In the semifinals the Blues lost 97-67 to the host Titans. Zane Warren scored 19 points and added three steals. Laxdal tacked up 17 points and reeled in 11 rebounds.
The Blues advanced to the semifinals with a solid effort against the Duchess Park Condors of Prince George. Laxdal poured in 22 points and snagged 12 rebounds and Warren chipped in with 18 points, seven rebounds and five steals.
Monday in league play the Blues (3-5) lost 74-54 to the host O’Leary Spartans (8-1), ranked fourth in 4A.
Today the two-time defending premier champions visit the Leduc Tigers (1-7) at 5 p.m.