Written by Connor Lewis, Argyle Grad 2007
The game on the hill tonight featured two high powered AAAA powerhouses, the Charles Hays Rainmakers and Kitsilano Blue Demons. This game was a rematch of a previous exhibition game these two teams had played earlier this week. The previous game saw Kitsilano winning which set the stage for Charles Hays to come out firing tonight.
The first quarter was a wash, as no team was able to gain the advantage. Some stellar play by Liam McCeshney and Kai Leighton of Charles Hays, and Tyrone Asenoguan on Kitsilano, kept the teams at an even keel. Point for point, turnover for turnover, hustle play for hustle play, the first quarter was characterized by multiple lead changes. Charles Hays began in a 2-3 zone that was thwarted quickly by Tyrone’s pure athleticism and driving ability as well as Luka Dolman’s shooting ability. The Rainmakers’ zone found it difficult to box out big man Cort Armstrong who was a monster on the glass on both ends. However, the Rainmakers had a star of their own as Liam McCeshney played like a young Dirk Nowitzki and played strong both inside and out.
The second quarter featured much of same, with both teams catching fire and neither team able to get stops. Kits ran a screen-and-roll offence that would have made John Stockton and Karl Malone proud, while the Rainmakers played good all-around basketball moving the ball and had no issues penetrating against Kitsilano’s 1-2-2 full court press and 2-3 zone. The final score at the half was 47-43 for the Blue Demons.
Foul trouble started to plague Kits in the third, as multiple players had their minutes restricted. Cort Armstrong unfortunately sat on the bunch with 4 fouls for much of the second half only to come in and foul out 2 minutes later. However, this gave room for Tiago Costa to shine, and he did just that. Cleaning up rebounds and showing off an impressive mid-range game, Kitsilano was able to pull away and expand on the lead.
But no lead was safe in this game as the 4th quarter was full of heroics and drama. Kitsilano’s Tyrone Asenoguan continued to dominate the ball offensively with flashy drives and great athleticism. Meanwhile, the Rainmakers started the 4th off a little cooler from the field and couldn’t manage to get anything going. However, after a strategic time-out, the Rainmakers went on a 7-0 run and brought the score back to within 2 points. The game continued to go back and forth. Some late game heroics by the Rainmakers Liam McCeshney and Kai Leighton who hit a big three and multiple mid-range buckets put the Rainmakers up 78-76 with 1:21 left. However, some mental lapses by the Rainmakers gave Kitsilano a chance for the win. Tyrone Asenoguan missed a jumper but Tiago Costa was there for the offensive rebound and worked his way to the line. To quote the Brooklyn Nets PG D’angelo Russel, Tiago Costa had “ice in his veins” as he stepped to the line and calmly sank both free throws to put Kits back up 82-81. The Rainmakers had a chance to win at the end, however, lock down defence by the Blue Demons did not allow the Rainmakers to put up a shot. Final Score was 82-81 for the Blue Demons.