Toilers hold off Cyclones

Katie
Katie Brickman
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Playoff-like game for final league meeting

The thunderous cheers, hollers, chants and stomping of feet made the gym stands shake. 

Eric Forbes of the Peacock Toilers drives to the hoop while Parker Chow of the Central Cyclones tries to defend during senior boys high school basketball action on Thursday night. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

The atmosphere at Peacock Collegiate felt like it was playoffs. Rather, it was just another league game between rivals Peacock and Central.

The third and final league meeting between the Toilers and the Cyclones was tight and physical.

It was the Toilers that held on for the 75-69 victory over the Cyclones in senior boys high school basketball action on Thursday.

“That was the best matchup, by far, we’ve had with Central this year. It was fun. It was good,” said Ryder Epoch from Peacock. “Definitely with it being the end of the season, the intensity is picking up. It is time to get serious. It is the last stretch.”

It was a back-and-forth quick paced game that had the teams tied after the first quarter. Peacock pulled ahead and held a seven point lead at the half-time break.

Central pushed back in the third quarter to within one point, which set up an impressive and exciting fourth quarter.

“I think our defence was pretty stellar and we were moving the ball really well and getting some good looks and shots,” said Parker Chow from Central. “We like to get into each others’ heads and make sure we are doing what we are supposed to be doing to bring the intensity up.”

Epoch with 14 points hit a three pointer with just over four minutes remaining in the game and then Aidan Saladana of Central fouled out. The big post had a good game, scoring 13 points.

With 2:30 remaining in the game, Chow then fouled out with the Cyclones trailing by just eight points. Chow had a game-high 19 points in the loss.

That left the Cyclones without two starters in the lineup.

“It was pretty hard on the mind, but I guess that is how it goes,” said Chow. “We got lazy a couple times and it resulted in that.”

With the Cyclones in foul trouble, the Toilers continued to keep rushing the ball up the court and going for baskets in order to extend their lead.

“I didn’t really notice, but I’m sure the big men probably felt the presence of them not being there because they are big guys,” said Epoch. “Parker was heating up, so it was probably good that he got pulled out.”

The two teams battled throughout the game with many bodies flying to the floor in blocks and loose balls. It really came done to who could control the ball better.

“Defence was key this game,” said Epoch. “We are starting to get to the point where the defence has to be tight all game … any slips, people are going to score and go on runs. That is when the game can get away.”

This was the closest game between these two teams this season, which was a big boost for the Cyclones.

“It really helps because it has been one-sided when we played them before. We are getting closer every time and it feels good,” said Chow. “Hopefully we will be up there when the time comes.”

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