James Klassen of the Vincent Massey Vikings leaps above a member of the Neelin Spartans to grab a rebound in the Westman High School Basketball League varsity boys’ final on Thursday at Massey. The Spartans won 87-55 to sweep the city final series. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Ali Cruse of the Vikings takes the ball to the basket as Britt Stott of the Neelin Spartans guards in the varsity girls’ final. Neelin claimed the city crown with a 48-26 win. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
It was a clean sweep for the Neelin Spartan varsity basketball teams on Thursday.
Both of the Spartans boys’ and girls’ squads defeated the host Vincent Massey Vikings to win their respective Brandon High School Basketball League best-of-three finals 2-0.
In the boys’ game, Neelin’s Andrew Paul and Quinton Hunter outscored the entire Viking team in the Spartans’ 87-55 victory. Paul posted 30 points and Hunter added 29 in a game that Neelin head coach Don Thomson admitted was unlike any he has seen at the high school level.
"In my history at Neelin, I don’t think I’ve ever had a group of kids that shot the ball so well," he said. "At the end of the game we had 14 threes.
"… It was one of those days where we were very comfortable with what we were doing on the offensive end and the hoop seemed like it was 10-feet big."
Johnson Duku replied with 17 points for Massey, while Igor Reva added 12.
In the girls’ game, the Spartans held the Vikings to four points in the third quarter and posted 18 of their own to pull away and cruise to a 48-26 win. Paige Thomson led Neelin with 21 points, while Courtney Matienzo added 11. Thomson, who coaches both Neelin squads, felt it was his backups who were the difference in the game.
"We got in some foul trouble early, and our bench did an extremely good job of giving us a few minutes so we could go into the half up seven," he said. "In the second half, I think defensively we really out-competed them at times and that was key for us."
Zaina Bird had 11 points for Massey.
Both Viking teams are back on the court today with the girls playing at 4 p.m., and the boys at 6 p.m., when they host the Garden Valley Zodiacs in interzone play.
The Spartans will meet the Virden Golden Bears in their interzone games on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Vikings won the freshmen girls’ city championship by beating the Crocus Plainsmen 47-16 in their one-game final at Massey. Jenna Yang had 13 points for the Vikings, while Diksha Boodhoo led Crocus with six.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 28, 2014