The Tigres elementary boys basketball team captured the St. Denis Tournament early Saturday evening, downing the Northeastern Cougars 37-25.
The event gathered a dozen teams representing all four elementary school boards in the city, with plenty of excellent basketball being witnessed by the fans on hand. Both teams started slowly in the final, with St. Denis ahead 5-4 after six minutes of play.
But as the boys settled down, the scoring increased, with the Tigres holding leads of 19-10 at the half, and 24-17 after three quarters of play. Grade 7 forward Joseph Trottier led the way for St. Denis with nine points, with Julien Tubin and Mathieu Gareau adding eight points each.
Michael Babcock netted a game-high 10 points in a losing cause, including the first eight points for the Cougars, with Brennan LaPierre adding seven.
Besting Carl A Nesbitt 33-15 in the quarter-finals, the eventual champions advanced with a 44-8 thumping of the Macdonald-Cartier Panthères, while Northeastern eliminated both E.S. Hanmer (33-13) and St. Raphael (36-11) from gold-medal contention on Saturday.
Holding teams to less than 15 points against, St. Denis incorporated a solid knowledge of the basics at both ends of the court, even in the case of one of their smallest players.
"Defence comes before everything — it's the most important part of the game," said guard Matt Gareau.
"I've gotten used to playing defence against people who were taller than me. If he's a little taller, I try and give him the shot a little more," Gareau explained. "I feel that if he drives, he'll have more strength on me, so he'll be able to finish over me."
While St. Denis have enjoyed a measure of success so far this year, the home court tournament was seemingly their best performance yet.
"Because we had more practice time between tournaments, we came together more as a team," said Gareau.
"We all have a genuine respect for each other, and we all have our own areas of talent."
The championship winning team at St. Denis featured a roster of: Mathieu Gareau, Julien Tubin, Hunter Adams, Mathieu Lubenkov, Evan Maclean, Dante Mullin-Santone, Anthony Rogerson, Joseph Trottier, Maxim Dumais, Jacob Démoré, Félix Tubin, Sean Roberts, Éric Huneault, Samuel Cloutier, as well as coaches Martin Nadeau and Andy Pellerin.
The Northeastern silver-medal winning roster included Adam Bertrand, Liam LaPierre, Jarod Clarke, Michael Babcock, Julien Giroux, Austin Pawluk, Riley Shea, Brennan LaPierre, Bailey Waugh, Ben Doucette, Logan Davidson and head coach James Eady.
Macdonald-Cartier claimed the bronze medals with a 27-15 win over St. Raphael.
Following is a breakdown of all game scores over the three-day competition:
Thursday, March 20
Northeastern 63 St-Pierre 9
St. Raphael 26 Félix-Ricard 25
Macdonald-Carter 37 Notre-Dame (Hanmer) 12
St-Denis 47 St.Benedict 12
St.Raphael 37 Puis XII 36
Notre-Dame (Hanmer) 32 Churchill 17
Friday, March 21
Félix-Ricard 34 Pius XII 20
St-Denis 42 E.S. Hanmer 12
Macdonald-Cartier 29 Churchill 19
Carl A Nesbitt 45 St-Pierre 27
E.S. Hanmer 25 St. Benedict 15
Northeastern 42 Carl A Nesbitt 19
Saturday, March 22
St.Raphael 34 Notre-Dame (Hanmer) 28
Northeastern 33 E.S. Hanmer 13
St-Denis 33 Carl A Nesbitt 15
Macdonald-Cartier 23 Félix-Ricard 17
Northeastern 36 St. Raphael 11
St-Denis 44 Macdonald-Cartier 8
St. Benedict 32 St-Pierre 30 (double OT)
Churchill 26 Pius XII 25
Macdonald-Cartier 27 St. Raphael 15
St-Denis 37 Northeastern 25