Written by Scott Leigh
An exciting matchup took place at 12:30 in the British Properties of West Vancouver on championship Saturday of the No Regrets Basketball Tournament. Each team fought hard for a spot in the 8:00pm championship game.
The intensity was high in the early parts of this matchup as both teams understood what was on the line… the infamous golden sneaker championship trophy sat at Collingwood waiting for a team to raise it above their heads.
Number 9 on South Kam came out hot with two early three pointers giving South Kam an early lead, but both teams cooled off with a number of missed buckets through the midpoint of the first quarter. The Spartans kept it close pushing the ball in the fast break and crashing the boards hard. After a buzzer beater three by Sentinel at the end of the first quarter South Kam held onto only a 3 point lead.
The pressure defence by the Titans to start the second quarter was effective with a number of tipped passes and steals. After two big blocks on either end of the court, and back to back threes for each team, the Titans were up 7 with a few minutes left in the half. There was no shortage of intensity in the first half of this game with bodies on the ground, aggressive team chants and coaches who did not make use of their cushioned seating. A few too many missed easy buckets resulted in the Titans maintaining a lead through the majority of the half, although a late run by the Spartans tied the game 28-28 headed into the locker room.
Apparently in the British Properties the banks stay open for Saturdays, as a deep range three ball from the Spartans found the glass before dropping in, which brought the Spartans back within 1. Both teams came out of the locker rooms red hot from beyond the arc. A high scoring third quarter had the Titans up 8 after three quarters. If the home town team wanted a place in the finals tonight, the Titans were going to make sure they earned it.
Turnovers and mental errors by the Spartans allowed the Titans to extend their lead early in the fourth. Sentinel needed scoring matched with defensive stops in order for them to get back into this game, and it never occurred.
Overall it was a great battle between two teams who clearly really wanted to make an appearance in the finals of the 2016 No Regrets Basketball Tournament. It was a classic case of too little too late for the Spartans as they fell to the out of town South Kamloops Titans by a final score of 65 to 46.
South Kamloops is set to appear in the finals of the 2016 No Regrets Basketball Tournament against the Handsworth Royals tonight at 8 p.m.