CANNING – It was an intense game that saw both teams within just points of the other, but Central Kings has beaten first place team Northeast Kings 77-73 to move on at the boys’ regional championships.
It was also a noisy game, with the gym filled with cheers from the school’s students who turned out for the match keeping both teams amped up and on their toes as they ran across the court.
Several timeouts were called during the final minutes of play, when the teams were back and forth within just five points after each other.
Central Kings’ grade nine player Nolan Ogden cemented the team’s victory with two winning fowl shot points. The crowd erupted after he made the shot.
The game’s final score was 77-73 for Central Kings.
“For him to step up there and make that shot, it was a huge moment for him, and for the team,” said Central Kings coach Paul Daley.
Central Kings’ season started out rocky, with the team sitting at 1 win and 23 losses by January 31.
Their comeback, coupled with this win, means the team was feeling proud after their well-earned win, according to Daley.
Northeast Kings coach Eric MacMillan took a somber breath as the final seconds ticked off the clock, and congratulated his guys on their hard fought game.
As the tournament favourites, the loss came as a bit of a surprise for the team.
“They outran us today. We let them get ahead of us, and we did make a comeback, but ultimately they came out on top,” he said, as his voice gave out from all the back and forth he had with his players during the high-pressure game.
“I’m not happy, but we’ve got a young team, and we’re building up this year.”
Northeast Kings senior player James Munday spoke about how his team didn’t start the game off as strong as they’d hoped, but rallied in the second half.
“If we’d played that hard for the entire game, we might have had it,” he said.
He said hosting the tournament and playing in front of the school made it all even more exciting, despite the bittersweet ending.
“There were some nerves, for sure, but it’s nice to have the fans on your side. It gives the building a lot of energy,” he said.