Tight first half, but Toilers pull ahead in second half
The gym at Central Collegiate was full, divided and loud on Tuesday evening.
© Katie Brickman
Braedon Crone of the Peacock Toilers is double-teamed by Caleb Havanka (middle) and Aidan Saladana of Central during senior boys high school basketball action on Tuesday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
The showdown between the Central Cyclones and the Peacock Toilers moved from Ross Street to Oxford Street, but the outcome was still the same — a Toilers victory.
It was an aggressive, physical and fast-paced game, but it was Peacock that withstood in their 92-67 victory over their rivals.
“It was a good performance. I was happy with the result. It is better than the last time we played them,” stated Leigh Pethick, head coach for Central. “I’m not happy with it all being in the second half, however, but we played them straight up in the first half. Our guys battled hard, but we just ran out of steam.”
The first half saw the lead go back-and-forth between the teams, but it wasn’t until the second half that Peacock put a stop to the streaking Cyclones and took control of the game.
“I thought especially in the second half, we really got some good stops defensively and executed offensively,” said Bryan Adams, head coach of Peacock. “We played a good solid game entirely, but especially the second half when everyone stepped it up and did a good job.”
The Cyclones were only down by four points at the half time break, but couldn’t continue to bring the same level of intensity they had in the first and second quarter.
Both teams played a lot of basketball over the weekend at the local invitational tournament, but that wasn’t the only reason why Central struggled late in the game.
“They are a good team. We would have to play a perfect game to even be in a game with them and we did that in the first half,” said Pethick. “We just have to move it to three and four quarters now to have a chance at the end and make it single digits.”
The Toilers knew coming into this game that it wasn’t going to be an easy win, especially after coming off their tournament victory over the weekend. Although it didn’t look like the players on Peacock were tired from the extra play.
“Both teams left a lot on the floor on the weekend, so we are pleased to come into this building (and win),” said Adams. “It is a very tough place to play and they are a very solid team. We knew that they were going to come at us very hard and we withstood that.”
The Cyclones tried their best to stop guard Ryder Epoch from dominating them off the dribble, but with such quick hands and feet, Central’s defence struggled in the second half.
“The guys did exactly what we are trying to coach them for in regards to this game. We pressured Ryder as much as we good and we tried to limit them to second chance opportunities, although, in the second half that got away from us,” said Pethick.
Despite the loss, the Cyclones are still focused on the future and possible chances of a bigger rematch with the Toilers.
“We play them one more time in the league and then hopefully we will see them another time in the city final. That is our goal,” said Pethick.
In junior boys action from Monday, Cornerstone defeated Craik 75-22.
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