Toilers & Vikings serve up tasty appetizer

Matthew Gourlie
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Teams to meet in two do-or-die games next week

Vanier's Seth Kowalski tries to hit an off-balance shot, while Peacock's Braeden Crone attempts to block the shot.

If Tuesday night’s game was what the Peacock and Vanier are capable of producing when nothing is at stake, the next two weeks should make for some great basketball.

The Peacock Toilers beat the Vanier Vikings 81-79 in an entertaining contest to conclude the Moose Jaw High School Basketball League’s senior boys season.

The Vikings and Toilers will now meet in the playoffs in the league semifinal on Wednesday, Mar. 6. They will then meet on Mar. 9 in the conference playdowns in a one-game battle to advance to the 4A regionals.

“We came to play hard. Our objective is to get better every game,” said Peacock coach Bryan Adams. “We played as hard as we could and we got after it.”

Peacock’s Riley Morhart hit a pull-up jumper from the baseline with 52 seconds left to break a 78-78 tie and put the Toilers ahead for good. Vanier got a stop with 11 seconds left, but failed to convert their final three-point attempt.

“We’re going to work on our mistakes and correct them for our next game,” said Vanier coach David Tardif. “We’re 0-4 against them this season, but the games have always been tight. But that is definitely something we’re not satisfied with. We have to beat them.”

Peacock had a 10 point lead in the third quarter, but saw it evaporate quickly. Seth Kowalski converted a three-point play and Zak Konopaki was fouled while hitting a three-point shot. After those two trips down the floor, the Vikings had cut the Peacock lead to one-point with 3:27 left in the third quarter.

From there on out the lead was never more than three points for either team.

“All of the kids really played hard tonight — from both sides. Both teams went after it as hard as they could and played their hearts out,” said Adams. “Sometimes the brains didn’t go along with the heart, but you have to be very pleased as a coach when the kids are as playing as hard as they can.”

Peacock’s Braeden Crone led all scorers with 21 points, while Morhart scored 13 in the second half.

Vanier was led by Bryce Crosbie’s 13 points, while Konopaki and Austin Avery each had 12.

In the other senior boys game Tuesday, Central beat Caronport 90-48. Aiden Saladana led the Cyclones with 20 points, while Jonathan Phillips added 14 and Parker Chow added a dozen. Jonny Toews scored 18 points to lead the Cougars, while Zeph Moore added 11 points.

Organizations: Toilers & Vikings, Moose Jaw High School Basketball League

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