The tournament kicked off with an alumni game on Friday night due to a team dropping out late from the draw. It was a fun, but competitive game with the alumni coming out on top with a 78-68 final.
“The varsity team came out on fire and had an early 24 point lead. The alumni team switched from a man defence to a zone defence and we had troubles with the bigger, stronger, longer bodies sitting in the passing lanes which made it tough to score. We watched our lead whittle away and were down by 14 at half-time,” said Greg Bowes, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity boys basketball team.
“We managed to win the second half and made it interesting in the final minutes, but the size and wisdom of the older players was too much for us in the end. It was awesome to have some of the former Rebels back who were Rebel Classic champions in previous years.”
In the semi-final on Saturday, the Rebels faced the Beaverbrook Lords from Calgary. The team built a 20-point lead at half and never looked back, cruising to a 94-55 win.
“It was a great team victory with all 10 guys contributing on the scoresheet,” said Bowes.
Dennis Campbell lead the way in scoring with 26 points, including back-to-back-to-back shots from long-range in the third quarter which snuffed out any hope of a Lords comeback.
“With our starters on the bench for most of the game and all of the second half, it was great to see our bench come in and not only maintain the lead but played solid basketball and pushed the lead even further,” said Bowes.
Wyatt Bennett and Blake Bullock each finished with 11 points, and Ethan Robbins was huge on the glass cleaning up many of the rebounds on both ends of the court. Ash Epp lead the team in steals with five which led to easy buckets in transition.
It was the battle of highly ranked 3A teams in the final as the Rebels took on number-six ranked Ponoka Broncs.
The game lived up to its billing as the Rebels edged the Broncs 88-84.
“We managed to build an early lead in the first half on some sharp shooting by Tom Johnson and Dennis Campbell. Brody Jensen and Ryan Hansen were monsters inside and Nathan Bennett took it hard to the rim all night,” said Bowes.
“We had a lead as big as 22 in the first half but I give Ponoka a lot of credit as they battled back to within two points with a minute left. They are a very tough team and I’m sure we’ll see them at the end in March,” said Bowes. “Tom Johnson led all scorers with 35 points in the final, but it was his intensity on the defensive end and a few clutch steals that was the difference. It was a good test and a great win for us.”
W.R. Myers Rebels varsity boys basketball team hosts St. Joseph’s from Brooks today. The team plays in a 16-team tournament at Winston Churchill this weekend, the host school for provincials for 2014.