"David and Goliath...with a plot twist"
Written by Samir Damji (Collingwood)
It was Saturday afternoon and the Tigers (Sir Charles Tupper Secondary) took the floor against the Highlanders (West Vancouver Secondary) at Collingwood School. Both teams were playing their fourth game in the annual Quinn Keast No Regrets Tournament, what always reveals to be an event filled with excitement and emotion. Both teams were battling for 13th place. Despite the gloomy weather and the physical demands of the tournament, the energy level was high as the starters took their positions on the court, ready to compete for yet another grueling 40 minutes of hard-nosed basketball.
As silence consumed the gym for jump ball, the difference in the size of each team’s players became apparent; it was David and Goliath. While the Highlanders (a fitting name) boasted towering forwards, the Tigers were studded with ferocious and speedy guards. As the first quarter was underway, it seemed as if West Van’s size would be merely too much, between Erik Neusel’s pair of transition slam dunks, and 6’7” Kevin Li bodying players in the paint and showing off his bird’s eye vision (don’t be fooled, the guy can dish some nifty dimes!). By the end of the 1st, the Tigers were down 32-12.
In the 2nd frame, the Highlanders were taken by surprise as the Tigers clawed their way back into the game. Between Gaurab Acharya’s offensive prowess and Norben Bulosan’s much needed energy and feisty defense, Charles Tupper went on a 10-0 run right off the bat. This is what Tupper was all about: quick ball movement, fast pace, and high energy. The Tigers also seemed to have found an answer for the Highlander’s bigs, with Toni Mark coming off the bench for some key minutes, which included a nice baseline drive and a two-handed block. All momentum was lost by Tupper, however, as they gave up a series of easy layups. With a 9-0 run to end the second quarter, the Highlanders once again regained a solid lead, with the score being 46-25 at the half.
The second half of the game almost exactly mirrored the first half. While in the third quarter the Highlanders asserted dominance, widening their lead to 33 points, the 4th quarter was Tupper’s game. In the 4th, Kyle Alviento from the Tigers caught fire and put the crowd on its feet, hitting 6 3-pointers to finish the game with a game high 27 points! In the end, the Highlanders got the last laugh as they celebrated their 91-71 victory.
Though it was West Van that came out on top in the end, the Tigers displayed a relentless competitive spirit. Not intimidated by their opponent’s size, they continually fought hard and played to their strengths. Up until the last minute, even when a loss was certain, they left everything out on the floor and played to win. They fought not for the end result but out of pride and comradery; what a great embodiment of the spirit of Quinn Keast and what this tournament stands for. In the end, as Mark Twain once said, it’s really not about the size of the dog in the fight, but rather about the size of the fight in the dog.