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Monday, February 16, 2015

Cobras tops at 2015 Sabres A Boys Basketball Tournament

First: Coaldale's WCCHS Cobras
C. Davis photos/videos except where noted
Second: Mountain View's Grizzlies
Third: Lundbreck's Livingstone Sabres
Debbie Erickson photo 
Chris Davis

Lundbreck's Livingstone A Boys Sabres hosted their 2015 A Boys Basketball Tournament last weekend at Livingstone School. 8 teams participated in a total of 12 games over the course of two days.  Countless volunteers worked to make this another highly successful, smoothly run event.  Claresholm's WCCHS Cobras earned first place, Mountain View's Grizzlies earned second, Livingstone's Sabres earned third, and the Crowsnest Pass Panthers won the consolation game.


Participating teams
Lundbreck's Livingstone Sabres
Crowsnest Pass Panthers
Pincher Creek's St. Michael's Dragons
Nobleford's Noble Central Blades
Medicine Hat's MHCS Warriors
Mountain View's Grizzlies
Fort Macleod's F.P. Walshe Flyers
Claresholm's WCCHS Cobras


A note on the reporting of this story:  We don't report scores at this age level in basketball if there is more than a 20 point difference between the teams.  Teams at this level often vary by quite a bit in terms of age and experience. That was evident at this tournament, particularly during the first day, and the tournament was set up to allow all teams a chance to play against teams of similar strengths as it progressed.

Game 1: Dragons vs Flyers



St. Michael's Dragons romped to a wide margin win in the tournament opener.  Players of the Game were Darian Atwood (Flyers) and Tyler Gerber (Dragons).  Beau Walter of the Dragons was top scorer in the game with 18 points, followed by Darian Atwood of the Flyers with 14 points.  Other top scorers for the Dragons were Taite Jessen (12), Tyler Gerber (11), Liam Van Eee (8), and Ben Cooley (11). Every Dragon made it to the scoreboard in this game. Skylar Frank was another top scorer for the Flyers with 10 points.

Game 2 Cobras vs Panthers


The Cobras wasted no time establishing their dominance in this game, rolling relentlessly to a wide margin win over the Panthers.  Players of the Game were Keegan Ryden (Panthers) and Jarrid Baxter (Cobras).  Top scorer in the game was Nick Harder of the Cobras with 21 points, followed by teammate Ross van Rootselaar with 17 points.

Game 3 Grizzlies vs Blades


The Grizzlies were an unstoppable steamroller in this game, winning by a wide margin. The Blades put in a respectable performance but couldn't get to the basket. Players of the Game were Kevin Froese (Blades) and Zack West (Grizzlies). Top scorers for the Grizzlies were Brysen Uibel (13), Zack West (11), and Justin Mackenzie (11).

Game 4 Sabres vs Warriors


The final Friday game was the most exciting and raucous of the day. The Sabres established an early lead, up 13-3 at the end of the first quarter. The Warriors bounced back in the second quarter, tying the Sabres in points with 10 each, resulting in the Sabres being ahead 23-13 at the half. The Sabres dominated the third quarter, scoring 18 points to 7 for the Warriors. The Warriors outscored the Sabres in the final quarter (10 points to 9). Final score: Sabres 50, Warriors 31. Top scorer for the Sabres was Levi Sekella with 14 points, including two 3-pointers. Quinlan Connelly-Engel scored 12 for the Sabres, and teammate Cole Schweb scored 8.
Game 5 Panthers vs Flyers
The Panthers edged the Flyers 28-25 to earn a spot in the Consolation Final.  Both teams spread their scoring around.  Top scorer in the game was Skylar Frank of the Flyers with 13 points.

Game 6 Warriors vs Blades
This Warriors won this game by a wide margin to advance to the Consolation Final.  Top scorers for the Warriors were Josiah Robles (17), Riley Enns (16), Evan Both (11), KyleWagenaar (8), and Seth Undseth (8).  Top scorers for the Blades were Jake Mills (10), Jared Klok (8), Joe Wolff (8), and Austin Passmore (8).

Game 7 Cobras vs Dragons

The Cobras steamrolled the Dragons for their second wide-margin win of the tournament, establishing a huge lead early and building on it throughout, qualifying to play in the Championship Final as a result.  The Dragons did have a stronger final quarter.  There were a couple of nice 3-pointers from Tyler Gerber of the Dragons as well.  Gerber was also the Dragons' top scorer with 11 points.  Nic Harder of the Cobras was top scorer in the game with 24 points.  Other Cobras top scorers were Jarrid Baxter (14), Ross van Rootselaar (13), and Nick Anderson (13).  Players of the Game were Elisha Lowry (Dragons) and Nick Anderson (Cobras).

Game 8 Grizzlies vs Sabres

The Sabres trailed the Grizzlies in every quarter of this game, with the Grizzlies winning it 53-33, qualifying them to play in the Championship Final.  Both teams played flat out throughout, determined to win it.  The superb passing plays and defensive efforts of the Grizzlies gave them an edge that served them well.  Top scorers in the game were Bryan Nelson and Zack West of the Grizzlies with 12 points each.  Dragons' Quinlan Connelly-Engel and Grizzlies' Mikhail Moojalsky were right behind them with 11 points each.  Cole Leishman (Warriors) scored 9, and Justyn Connelly-Engel scored 8.  Players of the Game were Quinlan Connelly-Engel (Dragons) and Bryan Nelson (Warriors).

Game 9 Flyers vs Blades

The Flyers strolled to a wide margin win in this game, The Blades appeared to be one of the youngest teams in this tournament, and were also probably the most improved from their experience.  Top scorer in the game was Skylar Frank of the Flyers with 20 points, including two 3-pointers.  His teammate Darian Atwood scored 20 points. Players of the Game were Joshua Marsh (Flyers) and Joe Wolff (Blades).

Game 10 Consolation Final
Panthers vs Warriors

The Warriors had a stronger first half and the Panthers had a stronger second half in this exciting game, with the Panthers ultimately coming from behind to win it 46-39 to take home the Consolation title. Panthers coach Joey Ambrosi was proud of the team, sayings this was the best they have played all season.  The last quarter of this game saw both teams battle it out to a draw.  Lots of 3-pointers as well, coming from Panthers Keegan Ryden and Colton Miskulin, and from Warriors Mason, Josiah, and Kyle (with 2 of them).  Keegan Ryden was also top scorer in the game with 20 points, followed by Riley of the Warriors with 9 points.

Game 11 for Third Place
Sabres vs Dragons

Yowza what a game!  Local rivals the St. Michael's Dragons and host team the Livingstone Sabres squared off for this barnburner, played in front of a huge and vocal crowd,  and they were one or two points apart or tied for most of the game.  It was 5-3 Sabres at the end of a hard-fought first quarter, and 12-11 Sabres at the half.  22-21 Sabres going into the final quarter, and neither team was giving any quarter.  The Dragons moved ahead by 2 points, then they tied it 28-28, then the Sabres moved ahead by 2 points, and with only 2:28 remaining in the game it was tied again 30-30.  The Sabres pulled out a 34-30 win due to successful free-throws to earn Third place in the tournament.  Cole Schweb of the Sabres and Tyran Halloway of the Dragons were named Players of the Game

Game 12 Championship Final
Cobras vs Grizzlies

And so it came down to this.  Two undefeated teams, both at the top of their respective divisions in regular season play, with very different coaching styles and approaches to the game.  The Cobras were notable throughout the tournament for their abundance of towering tall players, their unswerving determination to win, and a coach that contested with the refs throughout.  The Grizzlies were notable for their swiftness and accuracy, and their calmly calculated approach to the game.  

The Cobras began this game strong, up 5-0 before the Grizzlies made it to the board.  By the halfway point of the first quarter the two teams were tied 11-11, and the Grizzlies continued their surge, ahead 19-13 at the end of it.   The Cobras battled back early in the second, to tie it 19-19.  It was tied again at 21-21 and 23-23 before another Cobras surge put them ahead 37-31 at the half.  The Cobras doubled up on the Grizzlies in that second quarter, scoring 24 points to 12 for the Warriors.  The Cobras outscored the Grizzlies by 4 in the third quarter, ahead 55-45 going into the final quarter.  Back and forth it went in the high energy final quarter, the most ferocious of the tournament, with the Cobras maintaining that 10 point lead for most of it, and finishing strong to win the game 70-58.

Top scorer in the game was Nic Harder of the Cobras with 26 points.  Teammate Ross van Rootselaar scored 16 points.  Top scorer for the Grizzlies was Bryn Nelson with 16 points, followed by teammate Brysen Uibel with 15 points.  Uibel was one of the most successful free throw experts in the tournament.

First place for the Cobras.  Second place for the Grizzlies.

Players of the Game: Jayce Nelson (Cobras) and Ross van Rootselaar (Grizzlies).  Nic Harder of the Cobras was named tournament MVP.

Hosts the 2014/15 Livingstone A Boys Sabres
Debbie Erickson photo

Announcing draw winners
Sabres fans

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