By CLAUDE SCILLEY
If only, Geoff Stewart lamented Thursday, the games weren’t quite so long.
“If the game of basketball was a 24-minute game, we would be fairly competitive,” the coach of the senior Bayridge Blazers postulated, with chagrin.
In their game with the league-leading Holy Cross Crusaders, the Blazers got a remarkable 26 points from Matt Brash—but only eight from everybody else, as Bayridge bowed 43-34 to a Holy Cross team that remains undefeated eight games into the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association season.
Bayridge, now 1-7, lost its fifth game in a row, and for Stewart’s crew it’s been a familiar reftain.
“We haven’t been able to close out games,” Stewart said. “We’ve got one kid who’s a real player, and we’ve got some other kids who are a combination of decent athletes with a little bit of basketball experience. At the end of the day, we’re putting a lot of pressure on Matt to be indefatigable.
“By the fourth quarter he’s tired and teams have generally figured out that keying on him is a strategy that might pay off.”
Brash scored all 10 of his team’s points in the first half, and nine of the Blazers’ 11 points in the third quarter.
Oddly, in this game Bayridge outscored the visiting Crusaders over the final three periods, including 13-9 in the fourth quarter, but by then a 23-point first quarter had given Holy Cross the luxury of substituting freely throughout the remainder of the game.
Fully nine different Crusaders scored, with Tanner Hawley coming off the bench to lead the team with nine points.
Despite his team’s record, Stewart remains undismayed.
“Basketball is cyclical,” he said. “There will come a time when Bayridge basketball is back. It might take a year, or two years, or three years, but it will happen.
“In KASSAA, senior boys basketball is more cyclical than any other sport. There have been runs, but are really only three schools in the last 20 years who haven’t won a championship, so if that doesn’t illustrate the reality that boys basketball is the one that cycles the most, I don’t know what will.”
In other senior games Thursday, the Kingston Blues overcame an early deficit to defeat the visiting Queen Elizabeth Raiders 58-38 and the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers ended a three-game losing streak with a 48-18 win over the Granite Ridge Gryphons.
QE, playing its third game in three days, led the Blues 11-6 after the first quarter and the teams were tied 19-19 at halftime. Second-place KC secured its seventh win in eight games with a 21-point third quarter, and turned the game into a rout by scoring the first 16 points of the fourth.
On a day when veterans Sayre Powers, Isaac Foley and Reilly Lacasandile would be used sparingly, KC got points from 10 different players. Lacasandile was the only one to reach double figures, with 13 points—eight of them in the third quarter—while reserves Alex Drover and Calvin Tenenhouse each scored eight.
Evrold Watts and Tyler Bark scored 13 points apiece for QE.
In Friday’s only game, the Sydenham Golden Eagles and Frontenac Falcons, each sporting a 5-2 record, will meet, essentially to decide which team will finish in third place and avoid the dreaded fourth-versus-fifth quarter-final match. Game time at Frontenac is 5 p.m.