© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Peacock Green's Reece Sinclair, right, puts up a shot against the double-team of Majok Madol, left, and John Bajenting from Regina O'Neill in the boys final at the Moose Jaw Junior Basketball Invitational tournament Saturday.
The two best junior basketball teams in the city ran into some impressive opposition in the finals of the Moose Jaw Junior Boys and Girls Invitational Basketball Tournament.
The Peacock Green boys lost their first game of the season when they were defeated 71-50 by Regina O'Neill.
Vanier's girls lost their final 87-47 to Lumsden.
On the boys side Peacock Green beat Yorkton 76-26 in the quarter-finals before beating Swift CUrrent 74-65 in the semis.
"I was really very pleased with the tournament," said Peacock Green coach Martin Holzer. "The purpose of the tournament is to develop the players and they took it to another level."
O'Neill was a big team that could also run the floor and Holzer felt the biggest thing for his team in the final was learning how to compete against such a big team.
"A couple of the guys stepped up to the challenge and a couple were a little intimidated," said Holzer.
Peacock Green's cause was hampered when they lost leading scorer Stephen Holzer four minutes into the game. He is expected to be out for at least two weeks.
The game was closer than the score showed, but O'Neill pulled away in the final quarter.
"We were down about 10 points heading into the fourth quarter. We tried to do some things to score more and open the game up," said Holzer.
Central finished fourth after beating Weyburn 74-55, losing 76-49 to O'Neill in the semis and then losing 78-75 to Swift Current. Vanier finished sixth after losing the consolation final 79-61 to Weyburn. They beat Yorkton 56-38 on the consolation side.
Peacock White finished seventh after beating Yorkton 69-45 on the consolation side.
Vanier is on top of the local junior girls basketball standing, but they were in tough against a strong Lumsden team.
"They were a fantastic junior basketball team," said Vanier coach Brad Moser. "They had a couple of girls who could shoot threes. You almost hate to say it, but they were really fun to watch."
Vanier advanced to the final thanks to a big 70-38 win over Swift Current in the semifinal. Lumsden beat Central comfortably in the other semi.
"We were really happy with how we played. We just came up against a really skilled team in the end," said Moser.
Vanier will host the Moose Jaw junior girls final on Wednesday (6:15 p.m., at Vanier) against either Central or Peacock.
In the girls quarter-finals Swift Current beat Riverview/Cornerstone 54-44, Central beat Weyburn 57-28 and Lumsden beat Peacock 69-56. Peacock won the consolation side by beating Weyburn 57-37 and Riverview/Cornerstone 71-39. Weyburn also beat Riverview/Cornerstone 65-43 on the consolation side.