In just three days, the Jonathan Taylor Legal Beagle Invitational shocked and wowed the crowds at Terry Fox Secondary school. With upsets and buzzer beater wins, we were all left wondering, what more could this tournament offer us?
Third Place Game: Kelowna Owls vs. Terry Fox Ravens
Both teams played a mean first few rounds, but fell slightly short of the gold medal game. At any rate, it was a Battle of the Birds for third place!
Host school Terry Fox flew into the lead with a 9-0 run before Kelowna dropped in a couple layups of their own. Though it seemed like the two would be neck-and-neck for the duration of the first half, the Ravens dominated on both offence and defence. Fox headed into the second with 44-23 over the Owls.
In the final half of the game, Jacob Mand and the rest of the Ravens continued to keep a dominant handle in transition while also smacking in bucket-after-bucket. Though K-Town came into this tournament in 9th overall, they defeated # 1 ranked Tweedsmuir and also had an undeniably epic matchup against Holy Cross. All in all, solid effort from the boys up North.
The Terry Fox Ravens defeated the Kelowna Owls with a final score of 70-51, claiming third place at the Legal Beagle.
David Chien was named POG with 13 points for his team.
Congrats to the Ravens for not only an epic bronze medal win, but for also hosting an amazing basketball tournament!
Championship Finals: Holy Cross Crusaders vs. Oak Bay Bays
Two teams left. One reigning Legal Beagle champion, the Oak Bay Bays, versus one wrecking ball of brothers, the Holy Cross Crusaders.
With a shiny trophy on the line, the Crusaders proved early on that they truly wanted to take home the gold. The boys brought the hype and hit a few fancy layups to take the lead and never looked back. Oak Bay seemed to struggle a lot with their ball control and gave up far too many possessions to Cross.
Despite shot after shot, Diego Maffia only hit one 3; the Bays looked a bit tired on both ends of the court, but were able to battle back to within just a few points of their opponent to close out the first half.
Holy Cross led 37-30 heading into the second.
With much of the same energy from each team, the Crusaders continued to flex on the Bays, holding them to minimal points. Correction: Michael Risi shut down Maffia. Considering Diego is one of the best shooters (hot take, maybe even THE best) in the province, that is an incredible feat for not only Risi, but for the Crusaders on a whole.
"It's a great day for our program and for Holy Cross itself," said head coach Anthony Pezzente with a smile from ear-to-ear.
The Oak Bay Bays could not find the right momentum; while the Crusaders constantly overpowered the little team from the island with better shots from the field and flawless ball movement.
Though both teams fought hard to earn their place in the finals, the Holy Cross Crusaders played as one and ultimately were crowned the kings of Terry Fox Secondary's court. They defeated the Oak Bay Bays 75-58, with Uyi Ologhola named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
"I've been competing in this tournament since Grade 9, so it's very special finally winning it," Ologhola said on the huge accomplishment.
Crusaders' Michael Risi stacked up three awards: Championship POG, Top Defensive Player, and First Team All-Stars.
Coach Pezzente was extremely proud of his team, but admitted they are not just aiming for the stars hoping to land on the moon--they are aiming for the moon.
"This is one of the biggest tournaments, most prestigious tournaments in the province. And we finally won it. I'm really happy for the guys...but this can't be the most important, best win we have, otherwise us and the guys will be really disappointed."
Check out the game highlights below:
Holy Cross hosts their inaugural BC Catholics tournament next week, so be sure to tune in live as we cover the 2019 Legal Beagle champions at their home court!
Congratulations, Crusaders! And to every single team who came out and competed with skill, passion, and heart. Until next year, Beagles.
Written by: Crystal Scuor