By Greg Price
St. Mary Celtics boys basketball team continued its winning ways in tournament play this past weekend, with a championship title in Nanton, marking its third straight tournament title.
The Celtics came busting got the gate and dominated in its opening game with a 103-48 victory over Matthew Halton from Pincher Creek.
“It was a game we led by a large margin from start to finish. We had six players in double digits,” said Ken Gabruck, head coach of the St. Mary Celtics boys basketball team.
Seth Muller had 30 points in the game.
“He dominated offensively, especially on the offensive boards,” said Gabruck.
Also scoring double-digit points were Carter DeBoer (16), Carter Hendricks (16), Beau Huseby (16), Peter Klassen (14) and Sebit Gatluak (14).
The Celtics met Rosemary in the semi-final, and overcame a sluggish final 10 minutes to gut out a 84-70 victory.
“They actually came back to take the lead at 70-69 with three minutes left. There was a stretch of time where we were giving up unforced turnovers and we were missing some easy shots,” said Gabruck. “They put little pressure on us and we didn’t handle it very good. But then we ratted off 15 points in the final 15 minutes. Things were going good at first, but as a whole, I didn’t think we were playing good offensively. We just missed too many easy chances. But when the pressure came in last three minutes, the kids reacted really well.”
Hendricks had 10 points in the final 10 minutes on his way to 29 points.
The win put the Celtics against host J.T. Foster, taking the home crowd out of it early with an 18-0 run at the start.
“We were able to play well defensively and rebound to go with some key steals that got us some-fast-break points,” said Gabruck of the Celtics eventual tournament cinching win, 70-57. “We lost a little bit of that intensity later and got a bit frustrated not getting the referee calls we thought we should be getting. They made it close, within six points, but Beau hit some key shots for us.”
The Celtics played the Vauxhall Vikings in a make-up River Ridge Basketball League game on Monday. The Celtics host Warner on Feb. 25 at 7:45 p.m. and then travel to Warner on Feb. 27.
“When you get ahead like we have in early games in tournaments, it’s hard to stay focused running the offence correctly because defensive gaps open up that are not usually not there when you are playing the better teams,” said Gabruck. “Overall, I still feel we need to work more to get into our offence and finishing off better.”