Written by John Leong, Handsworth Grad 2011
A Friday night game featured the Terrace-based Caledonia Kermodes that travelled nearly 1400 Km playing the Sturgeon Heights Huskies who travelled 2300km to be here.
The Caledonia Kermodes won the tip and strike first with the first bucket. #7 Riley Pierce of the Sturgeon Heights Huskies got them on the board with an early jumpshot. The Kermodes full court press seemed to give the Huskies some problems in the first quarter and there seemed to be a lid on the bucket for the team from Winnipeg. Score at the end of the first 19-4 for the Kermodes.
Things quickly turned around as the lid was lifted from the basket and shots began to fall for the Huskies climbing to within 9 midway through the second quarter on a three ball by #10 Tyler Jensen. #3 Kohim Ma stopped the bleeding for the Kermodes with an offensive board and acrobatic up and under finish but when the half court buzzer sounded the Kermodes lead had shrunk to 33-26.
The teams opened the second half going shot for shot. #12 Matt Fedak of the Huskies was using his size to grab a ton of offensive boards giving a plethora of second chance opportunities. As the game became closer, the intensity in the gym clearly rose with defence chants being echoed on both benches. The Huskies' defense began to swarm which energized their offence, giving them a couple open three pointers followed by a spin move into a lay up by #6 John Sokoloski which brought the Huskies within three points. Kermodes #6 Jackson Netzel put in an 'and one' then banked a three to slow the momentum of the Huskies but the charging dogs brought the game to just a two point deficit entering the 4th. Kermodes lead 46-44.
Buckle up. Things got crazy from there on.
The Sturgeon Heights team had been using an unorthodox subbing routine making a few subs almost every dead ball which allowed for a constant stream of fresh players and allowed for the coaches to relay small adjustments to the players throughout the game. #11 DeMar Kraus of the Huskies came alive in the fourth scoring a number of driving lay-ups and attacking the rim relentlessly putting the Huskies up by as many as five. Kermodes #6 Jackson Netzel had an answer of his own out of a time out for a corner three that pulled the Kermodes back closer. After a back and forth quarter the score was all tied up at 60 with 47 seconds left. The Huskies got two from the line to go up, only to be answered by a go ahead three from the Kermodes. The Huskies came up empty on the next posession forcing them to foul #6 Jackson Netzel sending him to the line once again. He banked his first and swished his second to put the Kermodes up three with 19 seconds left. The Huskies drew up a quick play and were fouled where #11 DeMar Kraus nailed his two free throw to go down one with 19 seconds left. The Huskies fouled #6 Jackson Netzel again and, with ice in his veins he calmly knocked down the free throws to go back up three leaving nine seconds on the clock for the Huskies. The Huskies would use their last time-out and draw up a BEAUTIFUL play to leave #6 John Sokoloski wide open with a NBA range three pointer that rattled around before dropping to send the game to overtime.
The Kermodes got out to a quick 7-0 run to open the extra period, but the Huskies stormed back including another three by #10 Tyson Jensen off the same play that sent it to overtime. With the Kermodes down two, they went back to #6 Jackson Netzel who missed his midrange jumper but got his own offensive rebound and putback to tie the game 77-77 with 11 seconds left. The Huskies would use their final timeout to draw up another BEAUTIFUL play that led to the game winning basket by #12 Matt Fedak. Final score 79-77 for the Sturgeon Heights Huskies.
Player of the game: #12 Matt Fedak Sturgeon Heights
Sturgeon Heights high scorers. #20 Matt Fedak - 20 Points. #11 Demar Kraus 19 points.
Caledonia high scorers. #6 Jackson Netzel - 41 points. #3 Kohim Ma - 15 points.