Saturday, 17 October 2009

X captures their tournament championship

Putting forth their "best game of the season" as Coach Steve Konchalski described it, St. FX overcame an early 13-2 deficit off the start of the game, taking the lead late in the second quarter and cruising to an 82-71 win over arch-rival St. Mary's Huskies in Antigonish to capture their tournament championship. 5'11" Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw garnered tournament MVP honours with 19 points and 7 assists against only 4 turnovers while 6'8" Alberto Rodriquez, another all-star, had a steady 14 point/5 rebound effort. After Saint Mary's dominated the glass in their win Friday night over UNB, X made a concerted effort to win the rebounding battle, which they did 34-26. Tournament all-star Joey Haywood had 19 to lead the Huskies while fifth-year guard Mark McLaughlin was held in check reasonably well with 13 points however the Saint Mary's guards continued to show they make up one of more dynamic backcourts in the country. McLaughlin also made the all-star team. 7'3" center Rinny Ngot was, according to Konchalski, a "major factor" in the victory with 6 points including 2 big dunks plus 2 blocks and altered several other shots protecting the rim for X. Charlie Spurr added 10 for X who also got a tidy 9 point/9 rebound effort from 6'5" Jeremy Dunn. The X-Men travel to Southern Ontario to play McMaster, Brock and Guelph next weekend.

In the consolation final, Memorial Seahawks staged a spirited comeback from down 15 to take the lead with 3 minutes remaining but tournament all-star 6'6" Colton Wilson helped the V-Reds recapture the lead late and UNB went on to a 77-71 win over Memorial. Both teams are much improved over last season with second year coaches Brent Baker (UNB) and Peter Benoit (Memorial) doing fine jobs with their groups. Wilson and Seahawk wing Mike Helsby were named to the all-star team with Helsby (10 points) and Steve Earls (14 points) leading the way for MUN.

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