The Holy Rosary High School Raiders jr boys 1 basketball team, with from left, Samuel Fangon, Bradley Avelino, Emmanuel Omorodion, Anders Hundeby, Djeshua Caubalejo, James Bertelsen (hidden), Stephen Reuta, Josh Chapelski, Ryan Ocampo, Dillon Orieux, Denzel Escote and Fred Lumaban, captured gold at their home tourney this past weekend. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
The Holy Rosary High School Raiders junior basketball program started the 2017-18 season with a slam dunk win.
The Raiders junior boys 1 team beat North Battleford’s John Paul II High School Crusaders 56-39 to capture home tournament gold at the Holy Rosary gymnasium on Saturday.
A strong defence and quick transition helped the Raiders to a first quarter lead, while a big presence under the basket and the ability to hit the open man got them the win.
“We just tried to pass it around and find the best shot,” said Raiders post Emmanuel Omorodion.
“We’re a very good rebounding team and that helped us with second chance points. Josh (Chapelski), (Stephen) Reuta, everybody was just pitching in on rebounding.”
A quick three-way passing play between Reuta, Chapelski and Anders Hundeby led the Raiders to their first good lead at 8-4 midway through the first quarter.
Raiders forward Bradley Avelino brought the score to 14-7 late in the frame on a drive through traffic down the middle of the key for a layup.
Chapelski went deep for a couple of long two pointers before adding a finger roll to help his team to a 34-25 lead by halftime.
The Crusaders fought back in the third quarter on precise shooting from the foul line and a big Mike Cruz three down the middle, but strong play in the paint by Omorodion during the final eight minute period ensured the Raiders a home tourney victory.
“It could have been a bit better, but I’m proud of my guys,” said Crusaders wing Jaden Pelayo. “We tried our best, but in the end we just couldn’t pull off the win.”
Pelayo said they focused on working hard under the basket to get rebounds and score against the Raiders.
He said the opposition just tipped the ball better and played cleaner on defence to get the win.
“We’ll learn from our mistakes,” said Pelayo.
“We’ll play harder and play better and hopefully we’ll win our next tournament.”
The Raiders junior boys 2 team beat Meadow Lake for the bronze medal at the Holy Rosary tournament.
The Raiders junior girls 1 team also captured a third place finish with a victory against Vermilion, while the Raiders junior girls 2 team fell to Marwayne in the consolation final.
“This is our first tournament,” said Omorodion, noting the team will play a few more league matches before the Christmas break. “We did pretty good for our first few games.”