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Home > Articles > High School Sports > Blues looking forward to recapturing lost season

Blues looking forward to recapturing lost season

Posted: December 4th, 2014 @ 11:25pm


This year, Pat Powers believes, people will come to appreciate a team not many people got to see two years ago.

“We had a good season that year,” he said, albeit one contested on an exhibition basis only, as the winter high school athletic season was cancelled as teachers worked to rule.

As a community coach, Powers wasn’t bound by the restrictions imposed by the union on its members, so he took the the junior team from Kingston Collegiate on a barnstorming campaign, playing tournaments out of town, against teams similarly unimpeded by the work action.

In a dozen games that winter, the Blues were undefeated.

“We had a very good season,” Powers said Thursday, after his team, now seniors, won its second straight Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association game, 66-36, over the Queen Elizabeth Raiders.

“It’s a good bunch of kids," Powers said. "We’ve already had two tournaments and they’ve shown good promise, but we’re nowhere near where we’d like to be.”

Cohesion is the one element that Powers hopes will soon develop.

“We’ve got a couple of kids who haven’t played basketball before, and a number who haven’t played for a long time, so getting together on the same page is going to take some doing, but we should be in the mix.”

Playing at QE, the Blues pressed effectively to break open a game that was tied at 7-7 and was led by KC just 14-11 at the end of the first quarter. A 24-point second quarter that began with a 15-0 run turned the game to the Blues’ favour.

“When we press, we’re good,” said Powers, whose team recently played in a tournament in Whitby. “We got into the final and lost to a team that was more athletic than us; we got into a track race and we didn’t play our game.

“When we play our game, we’re good. The kids are used to each other, they know what’s going on, they’re smart, most of our kids have a pretty high basketball IQ. What we lack is that patience; when the other team gets their run, to be patient and trust in our own stuff and that it’s going to work.”

As it turns out, that’s the same sort of concern that Raiders coach Joanna Belfer has for her team, one that was playing its first game of any description Thursday.

“I’m very excited about this season,” she said. “We have a lot of raw talent but we’re young. We have a lot of inexperience on the team, so we’re learning composure. I told them (after the game) we were out-composed today. We’d steal a ball and make a nice defensive play and then panic and throw it away.”

It’s difficult to deal successfully with an opponent’s press without the requisite sangfroid, Belfer said.

“They play a lot of basketball at lunch time in the gym, so they would revert back to that unstructured lunchball play,” she explained. “We were taking shots when we didn’t have any rebounders in position and unfortunately (the Blues) would get a rebound and chuck it (down the floor) for a fast break.

“Those are the disheartening plays, when you work so hard on offence and all of a sudden they get an easy layup on the other end, and then it turns into a bit of a downward spiral. When you have inexperienced players they have a hard time pulling out of that mentality. They start to get down and they start to get frustrated and we have a hard time pulling them out.”

Evidence of that was the mere 14 points QE managed to score in the second half.

Reilly Lacasandile led the Blues with 17 points, 12 of them in the first half, while Sayer Powers had 15 and Isaac Foley 14. Foley added seven rebounds.

Vin Vincent, with 13 points, and Tyler Deir, with 10, reached double figures for the Raiders.

Elsewhere Thursday:

• The defending champion Frontenac Falcons opened their season with a 63-56 win over the Bayridge Blazers, but it wasn’t easy. It was just a one-point ball game at halftime, and after Frontenac opened its largest lead of the game, 11 points—scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter—Bayridge scored 12 straight to take a 51-50 lead with 4:11 to play.

It was a significant rally for the visiting Blazers not only for its magnitude, but for the fact that three different players contributed points and seven points came after Frontenac turned the ball over in the front court on three consecutive trips up the floor.

A timeout righted the Falcons’ ship, however, and Frontenac scored the next eight points to retake control of a game whose outcome might have been further embellished had the Falcons' foul shooting not been so dreadful. In the fourth quarter, Frontenac was just 5-for-13 from the free-throw line.

Carter Matheson led Frontenac with 21 points, while Tristan Halladay and Quincy Saunders-Scholes scored 14 points apiece. Austin Macklem scored 19 points for Bayridge, which got nine points from Michael Powley.

A three-point basket by Nick Savoie with about a minute and a half to play was crucial as the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers edged the La Salle Black Knights 51-49. Playing at Regi, the teams combined to score 32 points in a run-and-gun opening quarter and the Panthers led 25-23 at halftime, but La Salle took the lead by scoring the first six points of the second half.

The lead went back and forth after that, and two La Salle turnovers in the game’s final minutes led to transition baskets that helped the Panthers to secure the win.

Duncan Lambert scored 23 points for Regi, while Mitch Dowd led La Salle with eight points.

• The Napanee Golden Hawks gained their first win of the year, 39-36 over the visiting Loyalist Lancers, and the Sydenham Golden Eagles opened their campaign by posting a 70-22 home-court victory over the Granite Ridge Gryphons.

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