Volume 12 Week 5

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Junior Boys Basketball
Lester B. Panthers win battle of the unbeatens, claim top seed in the east
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Lester B. Pearson Panthers will go into next week's junior boys Tier 1 basketball playoffs as the top seed in the east after downing the Louis Riel Rebels 54-40 on Tuesday to finish the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record.

Lester B. Pearson's David Pagal makes amove along the baseline during the Panthers 54-40 win over the Lois Riel Rebels on Tuesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The battle between the two previously unbeaten teams lived up to its advance billing for the first two quarters before the Panthers went on tear in the third to win going away.

Louis Riel's Francois-Xavier Charette had a hot hand in the first quarter, scoring 12 points, including a three point shot at the buzzer, to give his team an early 15-10 lead heading into the second stanza.

The Panthers managed to battle back largely due to the play of Sylvain Mbuyamba who was all over the floor forcing turnovers, hauling down rebounds and scoring points. They eventually took a 20-19 lead with 2:24 left in the first half.

Lester B. went up 23-21 on a three-point shot by David Pagal with 12 seconds left on the clock, but the Rebels managed to take it back on a three-pointer by Charette with two ticks left.

Pagal opened the second half with another three pointer to put the Panthers up 26-24, before the Rebels managed to battle back and eventually opened up five point lead before the roof fell in.

With a little under two minutes left to go in the third quarter, the Panthers went on a 10-2 run to take a 37-34 lead into the fourth where it was more of the same.

By the time Rebels knew what hit them they were down 14 points and it was game over.

Mbuyamba led all scorers with 23 points and was 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Pagal scored nine points, including a pair of three poitn shots, and Andy Corcoran scored three baskets for six points. Charette ended the game with 17 points for the Rebels..

The result was the exact opposite of their first meeting when the Rebels won by double digits in a preseason tournament to determine which teams play at the Tier 2 level and which teams play Tier 1.

Lester B. will play the Brookfield Blues in the opening round of the playoffs next week, while the Rebels must wait to see the final standings in the East Division. The St. Patrick's Irish, Ashbury Colts and St. Pius X-Men all finished 5-1 with Ashbury losing to St. Pius and St. Pius losing to St. Patrick's.

The St. Peter Knights, which finished in third place in the Far East Division behind the Panthers and the Rebels, will play the second place team in the East, and Colonel By who made it into the playoffs by beating the Samuel Genest Lazors on Monday, will play the first place team.

(Posted 8:30 p.m., Feb. 9)

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