Mother Nature was not in the corner of the Queen Elizabeth Raiders.
Normally, after winning a game at the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association single-A basketball tournament, a team is guaranteed a spot in the semifinals.
Not so this year, when weather played havoc with the schedule to an unprecedented degree.
As a result, QE got no reward for its 54-50 victory over St. Francis Xavier of Hammond in its final round robin game at the six-team tournament in Brockville Tuesday afternoon.
The tournament was originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday of last week, but Thursday’s snowstorm led the start of the tournament to be postponed until Monday. Another snow day Monday led not only to the competition to be delayed by yet another day, but for it to be condensed to a single day. That’s because entries for the provincial championship tournament are due at midnight.
As a result, instead of the top two teams emerging from each preliminary pool for semifinals, there would be just a final, with only the top team in each grouping getting a spot in it.
The Raiders dropped the opening game of the competition 67-45 to St. Lawrence of Cornwall Tuesday morning.
When St. Lawrence won its second game, 59-44 over St. Francis Xavier, it clinched a spot in the championship game and made the outcome of QE’s second game moot.
Regardless, the Raiders, who watched a late fourth quarter shrink to just a point, denied a late comeback bid by the Prescott-Russell representative. QE got a pair of free throws from Tyler Bark in the final dozen seconds and then Tanner Abrams intercepted a St. F.X. pass, and that led to Brandon Codeiro going to the foul line with 7.3 seconds left on the clock. He made one of two shots to clinch the victory.
Teams were competing for a berth in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations single-A tournament, next week in Sault Ste. Marie.