CANNING - Shelburne Regional High School has a new banner to display after the division two western region championships at Northeast Kings.
“They all play so well together. They have amazing passing… and shooters,” said Eric MacMillan, head coach of the NKEC Titans senior boys’ basketball team.
Shelburne topped King’s-Edgehill 92-71 in the Feb. 17 final to earn the distinction of regional champions. MacMillan said King’s-Edgehill held their own in the championship game.
“They’ve got some bigger bodies in there… and they’re good rebounders,” he said.
The West Kings Wolverines beat the Central Kings Gators to claim third place, and the fourth-place finish will give CK another chance to qualify for provincials.
With eight teams advancing to regionals, the players went into the tournament knowing a loss in the games played Feb. 16 would result in elimination. NKEC advanced to regionals ranked first in league play, but suffered elimination at the hands of CK in the first game.
“Both teams are quite young and we both like to run… they were just a little bit quicker off the floor,” said MacMillan, noting that NKEC trailed early on but the 77-73 game was tied twice in the fourth quarter.
“It just came down basically to who had the ball at the end… it was right down to the wire. It was a hard-fought battle right until the very end.”
MacMillan commended volunteers, staff and students for making the event enjoyable for athletes and fans alike. He was particularly impressed with the fanfare during NKEC’s nail-biter match against Central Kings.
“The gym was rocking,” he said.
“It really showed the Northeast Kings pride.”
MacMillan said both NKEC and CK have relatively young teams, and he’s looking forward to meeting the Gators on the courts again next year. He was pleased with his team’s performance throughout the season, which saw many back-and-forth contests between Valley schools.
“I absolutely loved coaching this group of boys. They’re fantastic,” he said, adding that the vast majority of the team is returning next season.
“We’re in a very good place going forward next year and the year after.”
MacMillan expects to see some great competition from schools throughout the Annapolis Valley in the 2018-19 season.
“There’s some really good young players in the Valley.”