Louis Riel's regular season unbeaten streak
By Fred Sherwin
Matt's Mack Wakefield gets a shot off as Christian Kadima sticks a hand in his
face during third quarter action on Tuesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Matthew Tigers junior boys basketball team gave themselves a major boost of confidence
on Tuesday courtesy of a 64-60 come from behind win against the Louis Riel Rebelles
who had won their last 18 in a row heading into the contest.
was the second time the Tigers had beaten the Rebelles whose only two losses prior
to Tuesday`s defeat came in the Bill Wren Classic at St. Matthew High School in
Tigers beat them in the semi-final of the preseason tournament and the St. Peter
Knights beat them in the round robin.
Rebelles managed to avenge their loss to the Knights last week in a game that
saw them clinch first place in the Far East Division. They were hoping to do the
same thing to the Tigers on Tuesday, but St. Matt's had other plans.
falling behind 10 points at the half, the Tigers stepped up their defense in the
third quarter and matched the heavily-favoured Rebelles basket for basket. As
the last second was about to tick off the clock, Keonte Monaga coolly drained
a three point shot to narrow the Rebelles' lead to seven points.
three-pointer started the Tigers on an 11-0 run which culminated in them taking
the lead for the first time midway through the fourth quarter. The Rebelles briefly
took the lead back, but St. Matt`s drained the next seven points in a row, including
a three-pointer by Teron Johnson, which gave the Tigers their biggest lead of
the game, up 59-53 with 2:19 remaining.
Rebelles were able to get it back to within four, but that would be as close as
they would get as the Tigers held on for the huge win.
the game didn`t mean anything in the standings it meant a lot on the hardwood
court. The Rebelles dearly wanted to avenge their loss to the Tigers in the Bill
Wren Tournament and they wanted to finish the regular season undefeated.
Tigers, on the other hand, wanted to prove that their preseason win over Louis
Riel was no fluke and they wanted to beat the team that had beaten the St. Peter
Knights, the only team the Tigers have yet to beat this season.
will completely boost our confidence," Tigers co-captain Mack Wakefield said
after the game. "A lot of people were saying there was no way we were going
to beat them again, and we did. It's huge confidence booster."
coach Chris Wakefield said he admonished his players during the half-time break
for not creating shots for their teammates and for failing to challenge for rebounds.
we managed to neutralize their big guys by getting after the rebounds and we started
creating more open shots," said Wakefield.
playoffs will get underway next week with the top two teams in each division earning
a bye. The third place team in the Far East will play the sixth place team in
the East Division and vice versa in a series of first round preliminary games.
For the third place Tigers, that means a date with the Samuel Genest Lazers, who
placed sixth in the East Division with an 0-8 record.
preliminary match-ups will pit Lester B. Pearson (3-5) against De La Salle (3-5);
Gisele-Lalonde (2-6) against Ridgemont (3-5) and Colonel By (0-8) against Immaculate
7:30 p.m., Feb. 10)
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