The Neelin Spartans opened the Brandon Sun Spartan Invitational on a winning note Thursday afternoon, but they still saw lots of room for improvement.
Brock Hiltner led the Spartan charge with 15 points as they defeated the Glenboro Panthers, the only A school in the competition, 84-28 in the tournament opener at the Neelin gymnasium. However, the Spartans weren’t happy with how they began the game.
"It’s always good to get off to a good start because it shows other teams we’re not here to fool around," said Spartan guard Chance Miller, who had eight points. "We’re here to show we can compete with other teams.
"Glenboro was not a stronger team, but it was a good start for us because we were a little slow in the first half. We weren’t playing good defensively. We were playing good offensively, but we didn’t care defensively."
Bryce Keilback added 13 points for Neelin, and Theo Farough chipped in with 10 during the Tri-Star Screen Printing contest. Tyler Sjulander led Glenboro with 10 points.
The Spartans will wrap up the round-robin portion of the tournament today with games against Thompson’s R.D. Parker and Beaver Brae from Kenora, Ont., without forwards Dylan Minshull and Bryce Keilback as well as post Brandon Williams. They will be in Winnipeg for a football combine.
Spartans head coach Don Thomson has faith his team can do well if it continues to improve as the tournament goes on.
"We just have to know as a group that we have to be better for the next game," he said. "If we keep taking care of those things on the defensive end, then the offensive things will happen. It’s early. It’s December. Those things will eventually take care of themselves, but defensively we have to be better right now."
In Thursday’s other games, it was:
Vincent Massey-Bdn 61 Killarney 59
Jeremy Lucio led the charge for Brandon’s Vikings with 21 points. Logan Beazley had 13 for Killarney.
Steinbach 67 Crocus Plains 58
Taylor Maloney’s 12 points weren’t enough for the Plainsmen. Justin Sarmienco had 18 for Steinbach.
Selkirk 65 Westgate 59
Selkirk’s balanced attack was led by Jordan Lawrence’s nine-point effort. Mitch Jakowski had 18 for Westgate.
Stonewall 97 Minnedosa 68
Stonewall’s Ryley Holod had 21 points. Shane Retzlaff also scored 21 for Minnedosa.
Nelson McIntyre 102 Swan Valley 45
Nathan Wowchuk had 25 points for Swan Valley.
Statistics were unavailable for Nelson McIntyre.
Dauphin 96 Sanford 60
Dauphin’s Brant Bosiak led all players in the event with 38 points. Kegan Hopper had 19 for Sanford.
R.D. Parker 67 Beaver Brae 44
Demi Oimeji had 24 points for R.D. Parker. Dave Simpkin led Beaver Brae with 11.
In the Victoria Inn Division, it was:
Garden City 111 St. John’s 20
Josh Magpantay led Garden City with 18 points. Tynan Reyes had 16 for St. John’s.
Oak Park 85 J.H. Bruns 49
Colton Reimer had 23 points for Oak Park. Frank Huynh replied with 11 for J.H. Bruns.
Dakota 87 Maples 57
Graham Riley’s 17 points led Dakota. John Lucero had 13 for Maples.
Glenlawn 86 Winston Churchill 49
Austin Arsenaut scored 15 points for Glenlawn.
Mohammed Syed replied with 14 for Churchill.
Kelvin Christian 78 Miles Macdonell 44
Anthony Dyck’s 19 points led Kelvin Christian. Jayden McKoy had 14 for Miles Macdonell.
Fort Richmond 81 Vincent Massey-Wpg 76
Jon Chan scored 24 points for Fort Richmond.
Sam Murphy led the Trojans in the loss with 17 points.
Garden Valley 105 MBCI 77
Ian Lane led Garden Valley with 21 points. MBCI’s Ryan Potter had 15.
Daniel McIntyre 96 Campbell 69
Garnett McLeod led Daniel McIntyre’s attack with 27 points.
Mack Burns paced Campbell with 17.
» Brandon Sun