Talons rise to the top at Legal Beagle

Nic Hughes with the Terry Fox Ravens is surrounded by a wall of Holy Cross defenders at the Legal Beagle tournament. - Robert McDonald photo
Nic Hughes with the Terry Fox Ravens is surrounded by a wall of Holy Cross defenders at the Legal Beagle tournament.
— image credit: Robert McDonald photo

The Gleneagle Talons enter the regular season the same way they want to finish it: at the head of the pack for B.C. high school basketball.

The Talons disposed of some of the best in B.C. basketball to win last weekend’s Legal Beagle tournament at Terry Fox secondary.

Gleneagle outlasted the No. 4-ranked Holy Cross Crusaders 59-52 in Saturday’s final after pulling out a 83-76 win over the Walnut Grove Gators, the province’s top-ranked team heading into the tourney.

It was the third time the Talons have faced the Gators already this year and the second time Gleneagle has gone up against Holy Cross.

“When you get a little bit more familiar with them, you can stick around a little bit longer and you can make things happen if you’re close enough,” said Talons coach Tony Scott. “In both cases we were able to stick around and for us it worked out in a good way.”

Scott was pleased with the job his team did competing on the boards with the Crusaders.

“They pound the board constantly, so being able to, not negate, but get into a situation where they weren’t really taking advantage of us on the boards as much as they were in the previous game, allowed us an opportunity to do something at the other end.”

Tournament MVP Jadon Cohee hung 44 points on the Talons but Scott said there’s no way to completely contain the Walnut Grove point guard. “You just try to keep him under wraps for as much as you can.”

The Talons opened the tournament with a 90-52 win over Kitsilano. And when the dust settled at the tourney’s end, Gleneagle was the No. 1-ranked team in the province.

Terry Fox opened with a 77-62 win over the Kelowna Owls but the Ravens were unable to get past Holy Cross in the semifinals, falling 74-65 in overtime.

“We were down seven with 2:26 to go and found a way to tie it up with four or five seconds left,” said Ravens coach Steve Hanson.

Mike West converted a free throw to send the game to overtime but fouled out in the extra period.

“I thought we played well against Holy Cross, it’s just so tough with their size and their athleticism,”,” said Hanson. “The bottom line is we just gave them too many second chances on the boards and loose balls

The Ravens closed out the tournament with a 70-52 loss to Walnut Grove on Saturday. Hanson said the Ravens were hurt being without Brad Peters, who is able to come off the bench and give the team quality minutes at power forward. Hanson also heaped praise on Grade 11 small forward Liam Hancock, who was able to hold Cohee to 18 points.

“He guarded the best player in the province and he did probably the best job I’ve seen anybody do on him all season.”

Hancock  was named to the second team all-stars while teammate Nic Hughes picked up a $1,000 scholarship from the Terry Fox Basketball Alumni Association scholarship. The Talons Denver Sparks-Guest, Brenden Bailey and Grant Galbraith were all named first-team all-stars for the tourney.

“There’s lots of things that some of our guys, who aren’t on the scoresheet or are all-stars, are doing that are so important to our team. If we didn’t have them we wouldn’t have all this success,” said Scott, who was impressed with the play of Cordell Parker.

“Without Cordell running the point for us there’s no way we would have so much success. He doesn’t really turn the ball over, he gets the ball to the right people, he’s able to score and he defended well.”

The Talons upended the Ravens 84-68 to open the regular season Tuesday night.

The Centennial Centaurs went 3-1 at the Chancellor senior boys tournament at St. Thomas More.

Centennial opened with a 67-33 loss to the host Knights before reeling off three straight wins, downing Enver Creek 55-38, toppling Maple Ridge 55-46 and holding off Windsor 57-42.

“It’s great to see our kids bounce back and get three wins,” said Centennial coach Alan Kaselj. “The boys were stunned by that loss to STM but we rallied and did the little things to get three wins.”

Alex Vranjes led the Cents for the tournament, picking up 16 points against Enver Cree, 25 against Maple Ridge and hitting for 12 against Windsor.

“Alex Vranjes is really stepping up for us and showing that he’s a premier Grade 11 post player,” said Kaselj.

In senior girls action, the Riverside Rapids knocked off the Charles Best Blue Devils 66-37  Tuesday night. Shae Sanchez paced the Rapids offence with 16 points while Vanessa Gee and Zuzia Zdziechowski scored 12 each.

The Rapids posted a 1-2 record over the weekend.

South Kamloops edged Riverside 62-61. Gee netted 15 points for the Rapids while Amanda Matsui and Zdziechowski each chipped in a dozen.

The Rapids rallied from a 39-32 halftime deficit to topple MEI 95-93. Gee scored 29 while Matsui added 20 and Sanchez supplied 17.

Sanchez tallied 15 and Gee produced 14 as Riverside dropped a 68-45 decision to Brookswood.


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