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Port Alberni senior boys basketball team wins Gravel Pit Classic in Victoria

Team has started the season with a 3-0 record
The ADSS Senior Boys celebrate their tourney win in Victoria. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

The Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) senior boys basketball team has started their season off strong, winning the Gravel Pit Classic tournament at Royal Bay Secondary School in Victoria.

In the opening game, the Alberni squad faced the Royal Bay Ravens, the AAAA preseason top-10 tournament hosts. First half-action was a “raucous affair,” said head coach Craig Brooks, packed with a student body cheering their hometown squad. The crowd witnessed seesawing action of chaotic loose ball scrambles, physical post play and a myriad of quick-hitters. As nerves settled, the Alberni boys asserted themselves with greater confidence, closing out with a 65-57 victory. Ty Cyr led Alberni with 34 points, while Blake Knoll generated 15 points in the effort.

Later that afternoon, the senior boys took on Vic High. Early jitters saw the squad get into early foul trouble, allowing their opponents to get into a bonus situation by the midway point of the first quarter. Alberni was forced to use both of their timeouts in that first quarter to slow the early Vic High momentum and reorganize their plan of attack. Entering the early moments in the second quarter, rolling off a ball-screen, Cyr was able to rain down a thunderous dunk over top of a defender that re-energized the building. From that point forward, the combination of Cyr (15 points), Liam St. Onge (10 rebounds and 18 points) and Dom Wynans (14 points) overwhelmed Vic High, securing a 96-73 final for ADSS. With this victory, the senior boys would head into a Saturday afternoon match with a chance to finish first place in the tournament.

In the championship match, ADSS carried their momentum from the previous game without missing a beat. Esquimalt, coming off a fresh victory of their own against Parklands, found themselves overwhelmed with the pace, physicality and intensity of the ADSS squad. By the end of the first quarter, the crowd witnessed an ADSS senior boys team denying any second chance opportunities to their opponents while also scoring seemingly at will at the other end. As the first quarter was drawing to a close, St. Onge set Cyr up for an alley-oop dunk that left no doubt about their intentions. The score after the first quarter of play saw ADSS in clear control, 27-7.

Four-minutes into the 2nd quarter, ADSS reached into their bench and earned scoring and stat contributions from every member of the 14-man squad, including guard Scott Cisaroski’s 17 points. With the 83-39 victory, ADSS laid claim to the Gravel Pit Classic tournament title and a 3-0 start to their season.

While there were many highlights throughout the tournament for the senior boys, Brooks said he was most proud of how each team member executed their roles with selfless determination.

“This season, our emphasis was on having each of these young men be accountable to and for each other,” said Brooks. “Their success and moments for growth will happen entirely as a result of their work ethic and how they coach each other up. Whatever has been asked of them in our preseason training, for their roles within this team, or strategically within games themselves, each of these young men have stood up and come through!”

The season will be a long one, said Brooks, and there will no doubt be bumps along the way.

“But we definitely have the right group of student-athletes at exactly the right time,” he said. “With a bit of luck, more good things are in store.”

The ADSS squad will not host a home game until the first day of Totem (Thursday, Jan. 5). They next play in the Isfeld Ice Tournament (Dec. 9-10) at Mark Isfeld Secondary School in Courtney, opening against the tournament hosts.