© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Jonathan Phillips from the Central Cyclones, left, tries to beat Peacock's Caleb Havanka off of the dribble in the final of the Moose Jaw Boys Invitational Basketball Tournament.
Even when nothing went quite as planned at the Moose Jaw Senior Boys Invitational Basketball Tournament, the final was just what you would expect.
After bad weather ended up changing some of the field when the tournament opened Friday, Central’s 68-58 win over Peacock in the final was what you would expect from the two rivals’ first meeting of the season.
“It was a typical Central-Peacock game: it was scrambly, there was pressure, not a lot of scoring and a lot of defence,” said Central coach Leigh Pethick after his Cyclones repeated as tournament champions.
“I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Our guys committed a lot of turnovers, but we came out with a victory.”
The unbeaten teams will meet in league play for the first time Tuesday and Saturday’s final was another tight battle.
“I was very pleased with the boys. It was just like usual — it was tooth and nail with them. They played really hard and our kids played hard. It was a very enjoyable game,” said Peacock coach Bryan Adams.
Peacock was able to grab an early lead and led 20-15 after a quarter. Jonathan Phillips helped pace the Cyclones in the second half. He scored 14 points in the second half as he and teammate Dax Whitehead finished with a game high 16 points each.
“I knew it was going to be a battle,” said Phillips. “I expected it to be a two-point game or something like that, but we had a good third quarter and that was the difference.”
Parker Chow finished with a dozen points for Central and he and Phillips each hit two three-point shots in the second half to help extend the Cyclones’ lead.
Teigan Gottselig and Braedon Crone led the Toilers with a dozen points apiece in the final.
Pethick felt that not playing in many close games hurt them last year when they went to Hoopla. He was very happy with the test they got from the Toilers and how they responded.
“We hope we get a test like this on Tuesday. It is always good to show the guys that we’re not that good yet. We always have something to work on,” said Pethick.
“We have a good run going so far. We just have to keep the focus going and tidy up some of the mental mistakes we had.”
Central, who has only lost once this year Walter Murray by two points in the final of the Saskatoon Centennial tournament, breezed to the final. They beat Meadow Lake Carpenter 73-37 and then beat Vanier 80-40 in the semifinal.
Vanier filled in at the Invitational when Prince Albert St. Mary and Yorkton couldn’t attend and Vanier’s Ned Andreoni Memorial tournament was also postponed.
Vanier lost 74-63 in the bronze medal game to Weyburn. Caronport also filled in to complete the eight-team field and advanced to the consolation final.
“Leigh Pethick and I are thrilled with how the tournament came together,” said Adams. “A big thanks to Vanier and Caronport and Weyburn for being able to come down (Saturday) to fill it out. It went well beyond what we thought was going to happen when the storm hit.”
Central’s post Myles McDougall was named the tournament most valuable player after some dominant performances in the paint.