ANNAPOLIS ROYAL - It was an exciting weekend of basketball at the senior boys Division 3 regionals at Annapolis West Education Centre with the host Wolfpack edged out in the final game but squeaking into provincials with a bye.
Six teams from across the southwestern part of the province competed for the right to represent this region at provincials on March 2-3. Based on their regular season league results, St Mary’s Bay Academy (Weymouth), Lockeport, North Queens, Clare, Drumlin Heights (Argyle), and host AWEC qualified for the regionals tournament.
The championship game featured Drumlin Heights and AWEC. These teams developed a nice rivalry this season with Drumlin winning two of the three previous encounters.
“We knew going into this game what we could expect,” said AWEC Coach Ryan Scranton. “Drumlin are a big team who move the ball well, use their big guys inside. and have the ability to shoot.”
Drumlin Heights took an early lead but, when 6’7” forward Dylan Landry got into some foul trouble, their coaches Ron Crowell and Anton Lorde sat him in the second quarter. This opened the window enough for AWEC’s three Grade 11 forwards, Kerwyn Currie, Sam Cooper, and Griffin Batt to work the ball inside and bring the host team back into the game. AWEC went into halftime with a 41-37 lead.
“Our guys were able to control a lot of rebounds for second chance points with Landry off the court,” said Scranton. “He is a big physical presence on both ends of the floor so he is always someone that we need to pay attention to.”
The second half opened with a flurry of activity, including two 3-pointers from Drumlin Heights guard Joel Cull. Cull continued with the hot hand amassing an impressive 22 points in the 3rd quarter helping his team to a 71-54 lead. With the start of the fourth quarter, the momentum shifted once again. Led by strong inside shooting by Currie, AWEC pulled back within four points before Drumlin sealed a 92-78 win.
“Despite the loss, I’m happy with the way our guys played,” said Scranton. “Drumlin are an aggressive, well-coached team and we knew going in that we needed to play a solid 40 minutes to beat them. They came out firing in the third quarter and put the game just a bit too far out of reach. I am happy with how our guys kept fighting until the end.”
With the win, Drumlin Heights advances to Division 3 Provincials which are hosted by Halifax Grammar School on March 2, 3. AWEC gets a bye into provincials, while third place finisher North Queens will be playing a qualifying game this week against a school from other regions with the winner also advancing to provincials.
NSSAF Western Regionals
Division 3 Senior Boys Results
SMBA 96 - Lockeport 60
North Queens 74 – Clare 32
Drumlin Heights 113 – SMBA 81
AWEC 79 – North Queens 58
North Queens 84 – SMBA 64
Drumlin Heights 92 – AWEC 78