Game of the Week - Written by Kram Staff on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 0:12 - 1 Comment
Saints Ready to Run
The St. Mary’s Saints senior boys basketball team may be hovering just below the radar at the moment, but if they keep going the way they’re going they won’t be sneaking up on people for much longer.
Thanks to a convincing 78-51 win over the feisty Notre Dame Pride the Saints now move on to Calgary Basketball Classic semifinal on Thursday night against the No. 1-ranked Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs.
Guard Nick Molina led all scorers with 20 points followed by 16 points from Robert Bzdziuch.
The Saints jumped out of the gates with a swarming pressure-defence that frustrated the Pride attackers. The pressure led to turnovers, which played right into the run-and-gun style of the play the Saints are hoping to deploy this season.
“I thought we played really well as a team, we started pushing the ball a bit more than we had in the previous two games and we just able to gel as a team,” said Saints guard Stephen Claassen.
After one quarter of play the Saints held a 22-10 lead, which grew to 45-27 by halftime.
With Claassen on the bench with foul trouble, Molina gamely stepped his game up and did a masterful job dictating the Saints’ high octane offence through the early stages of the second half.
By the time the third quarter came to an end the Saints had extended their lead to 58-39, which allowed them play the last quarter on cruise control.
Even though the win against the Pride was impressive, the Saints will need to raise their game several notches if they want to run with Bulldogs on Thursday night. Luckily for the Saints, they proved tonight that they have plenty of horses willing to gallop around the hard court and wreak some havoc on their opponents.
With an incredibly deep bench, especially at the guard position, the Saints rely on rolling up to six guards throughout a game to maintain a high pace of play. The strategy could be one way to neutralize a player like Adonis Monfort-Palomoni, who could easily be considered the top point guard in the city at the moment.
“We’re pretty deep on the guard side and that really helps,” said Claassen. “We can all push the ball and lead the fast break which is the way I think we’re going to win this year.”
Their depth and work ethic on the court will serve the Saints well throughout this season, but the benefits of the makeup of their roster could serve them well against a team like the Bulldogs. The Calgary Basketball Classic is a bit of a battle of attrition considering the amount of games each team played throughout the week leading up to Saturday’s final.
If a team has depth at the skill positions they could be set up nicely for an upset along the way to the big game.
“It’s tough at the beginning of the year and with all the games going on and very little practice. but it’s a great opportunity to get all these games in,” said Saints head coach Vince Marra. “The kids are working hard. Every day it’s get up, go to school and then play three or four games in a week. It’s tough for them but it’s exciting.
The Saints and Bulldogs tip off Thursday night at 7:30pm at Sir Winston Churchill.
Other scores from Tuesday night Calgary Basketball Classic action:
Division A – Boys
Sir Winston Churchill 91 Father Lacombe 49
St. Mary’s 78 Notre Dame 51
Bishop Grandin 77 Bishop McNally 65
Bishop O’Byrne 83 Lester B. Pearson 55
St. Francis 78 Bowness 71
Crescent Heights 80 Dr. E.P. Scarlett 45
Centennial 81 Ernest Manning 65
Western Canada 90 Henry Wise Wood 85
Division C – Boys
Calgary Christian 69 James Fowler 44
St. Gabriel 82 St. Martin de Porres 49
Division B – Girls
William Aberhart 64 Rundle College 50
Ernest Manning 82 Henry Wise Wood 78
Bishop Carroll 72 Crescent Heights 36
Lord Beaverbrook 49 Bishop McNally 33
John G. Diefenbaker 48 Queen Elizabeth 25
Notre Dame 54 Lester B. Pearson 35
Bowness 53 Central Memorial 26
Division C – Girls
Forest Lawn 50 W.G. Murdoch 17
St. Gabriel 61 James Fowler 31