Cyclones cause chaos

Katie Brickman
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Vikings fall short against Central

The season just began, but the Central Cyclones don’t have many complaints.

Parker Chow of the Central Cylcones jumps up for a layup over the stretched out Zeb Smith from Vanier during senior boys basketball action on Tuesday evening at Vanier. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

“A W is always nice to start the season,” said Leigh Pethick, Cyclones coach. “We have lots of work on, but it was nice to see them on the court for 40 minutes.”

The Cyclones powered their way past the Vanier Vikings 84-54 in senior boys basketball league action on Tuesday evening.

The Vikings started off strong, only trailing by three points after the first quarter, but shouldn’t sustain the same energy throughout the game.

“It was a little too late. We started off the game strong and we matched the intensity in the first quarter,” stated David Tardif, coach for Vanier. “Unfortunately in the second quarter, we let up on the intensity. That is pretty much what it is.”

The Cyclones took a 22-point lead into the half-time break and didn’t let up in the final 20 minutes.

“We found out a few things about everything — our offence, our defence (and) when we are under pressure,” said Pethick. “It is good … nothing to complain about really.”

The starters for the Cyclones dominated down low and on the boards. When their bench players came in, their offence struggled, but still was able to produce points.

“Our starters obviously were above our bench guys. They know what they are doing — they took good shots, (and) they moved the ball well,” said Pethick. “Our bench guys now know what high school basketball looks like. They saw the speed, the aggressive and hopefully they will keep growing and learning until March.”

There wasn’t a big difference in height between the two teams, but the Cyclones were more aggressive in the post position.

“Dax (Whitehead) is pretty solid underneath in regards to his positioning, his foot work, his shot selection. He is going to be our main guy underneath,” Pethick said of his post player. “I thought Aidan (Saladana) played very well too under the basket. He didn’t score a lot, but he took good shots that didn’t go in. I was very happy with his play too.”

Tardif wasn’t overly concerned with the offence prior to this game, as he wanted his team to work on their defence against a fast transition team like the Cyclones.

“I was happy with our offence. We were moving the ball (and) we were passing the ball around. It was just in that second quarter that we came a little too stagnant. We allowed them to double team and pressure us and we had no support. We didn’t take advantage of that extra man being open,” stated Tardif. “Our defence allowed them to get back into the game. We just allowed them easy shots, easy down low posts and we just gave it to them. When our defence is suffering, our offence is going to slow down. It just accumulated on us.”

Leading scorers for Vanier were Zak Konopaki with a game high 16 points and Zeb Smith with 12 points. Central was led by Dax Whitehead with 15 points and Brandt Thul added 14 in the win.

Folloe me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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