VJM boys repeat as city champs
Marauders knock off undefeated Fowler Falcons in SAPEC junior high Tier 1 final
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 06:00 am
Revenge was sweet as the Vincent J. Maloney Marauders repeated as SAPEC champions in junior high boys’ basketball.
After losing to the undefeated Richard S. Fowler Falcons in league play VJM vowed it would not happen again when the teams crossed paths again.
“We wanted revenge. We really wanted to win,” said co-captain Liam Townshend, who drained 16 points in the 66-44 victory in the Tier 1 city final last Friday at the SkyDome. “It was a really close game that we lost (79-72) and we had beat them in the Fowler tournament (72-56 in the final) before that so we knew we could do it.”
VJM turned a slim lead in the first quarter into a sizable 28-19 halftime spread. Early three-pointers by Townshend and Reecze Warren in the second quarter got VJM rolling.
“We had a slow start. The first quarter kind of started off like all defence. It was only like 8-6,” Townshend said. “After that we started warming up, we started hitting a lot of shots and we started feeding it to our big men down low.”
Jake MacKay, a new addition from Parkland County, poured in 16 points in the first half on the strength of six consecutive field goals for VJM before the break. He led all scorers with 24 points.
In the third quarter VJM pulled away to lead 46-33 with 10 minutes to play.
“The turning point was mostly with our offence when we finally started to get it going,” said Warren, a co-captain and guard who sank three three-balls for 13 points overall.
Co-coach Amy Schreiber described the win as VJM’s best game of the season and Townshend agreed.
“We played so well as a team. Everybody had a great game,” said the Grade 9 guard who wired a decisive three-pointer in the third quarter. “We didn't miss a lot. We all made our easy shots and we made our three-pointers too.”
Fowler was led by Daniel Gallant’s 12 points and Tylar Dobish added nine to finish 9-1 in league play and 25-3 overall.
VJM also improved to 9-1 while raising its overall record to 20-4.
“We had really good ball movement throughout all of our players in every game we played. It was pretty consistent,” said Warren, 15.
Last season VJM lost only one league game en route to upsetting the undefeated Lorne Akin Gators in the final for the second time in three years.
“Last year we had such a great season and after we lost that game (to Fowler in league play) we knew we had to come back and win the final just so we could get back to back championships,” said Townshend, 14.
He joined Warren, Dizon and Spencer Picken as returning players on the team’s 11-man roster.
“Our whole team was really into it this year and put a lot of effort into it,” said Warren, one of 10 Grade 9 Marauders. “We had a lot of big guys last year and this year we played more to our talent.”
The third championship in four years was extra special for the VJM hoopsters.
“It feels good from the heart. You did it for your school and for the team,” Townshend said.
After the VJM girls pummelled the Lorne Akins Gators 60-22 in the first game of the city finals the pressure was on the boys to complete the championship sweep.
“We had to do it and get that second win for our school,” Warren said. “It represents what our school is about and what our athletics are about.”