Cavaliers claim Keith Keat­ing ti­tle

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERER RECRE­ATION nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

Get­ting an early sea­son tour­na­ment win is as im­por­tant for teams as a win in the provin­cial tour­na­ment.

In some ways, it can help set up your whole sea­son. It af­firms to the play­ers that what they’re do­ing is work­ing and gives them con­fi­dence mov­ing for­ward into other tour­na­ments.

For the Laval Cavaliers, their win in the Tier II fi­nal of the Keith Keat­ing Me­mo­rial Tour­na­ment on Nov. 29 does all of the above and more.

The Pla­cen­tia-based school were never pushed in the tour­na­ment and hand­ily de­feated the NLBA un­der-15 squad 80-57 in the fi­nal held at the MAX Gym in St. John’s. Kolton Green was named the Tier II tour­na­ment most valu­able player in the process.

The game was close at the be­gin­ning, but soon the Cavaliers got the bet­ter of their younger op­po­nents and started widen­ing the gap.

“It’s a pretty good feel­ing,” said for­ward Justin Edi­son. He was named to the tour­na­ment all­star team. “It helps us build con­fi­dence for later on in the sea­son. I didn’t ex­pect to make the all-star team. It was a good bit of fun.”

“The way the boys played, they out­worked ev­ery team,” said coach Klark Chay­tor.

Ev­ery­thing be­gins at the de­fen­sive end for the Cavaliers. They like to use their team ath­leti­cism to force turnovers and get­ting stops on one end, which leads to easy buck­ets at the other end.

“We like to push the pace and at­tack the bas­ket,” said Chay­tor. This means get­ting the ball back as quick as pos­si­ble and pulling the other team into a track meet. “We have to worry about lim­it­ing points and we’ll get our own.”

“We want to run the floor and look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to score,” added Edi­son.

The tour­na­ment

The Keith Keat­ing Me­mo­rial Tour­na­ment is named af­ter a bas­ket­ball vol­un­teer who served the game in many ca­pac­i­ties. The all-star game pits play­ers from teams in­volved in the tour­na­ment against play­ers who com­peted for Keith Keat­ing.

Pro­ceeds from the tourna- ment go to the Dr. H. Bliss Mur­phy Can­cer Care Foun­da­tion. This year it re­ceived $21,000 in monies raised from the four-day event, which kicks off the high school bas­ket­ball sea­son.

The 2015 edi­tion drew a tour­na­ment-high 28 teams this year and fea­tured a fe­male di­vi­sion for the first time.

Laval started the tour­na­ment with a 66-42 vic­tory over Mount Pearl Se­nior High. In their sec- ond game, the Cavaliers up­ended Clarenville High B 73-32 be­fore de­feat­ing St. Kevin’s 81-65 in one of the Tier II semi­fi­nals.

Mean­while, As­cen­sion Col­le­giate of Bay Roberts also par­tic­i­pated in the tour­na­ment. The team reg­is­tered one win (Clarenville High B) and two losses (St. Kevin’s, Holy Heart B).

“It was a great tour­na­ment,” said Chay­tor.

Team chem­istry

The Cavaliers are a team laden with se­nior play­ers who have spent years play­ing with each other in a va­ri­ety of sports.

Many of them have been shar­ing the bas­ket­ball court for the past five years. Co­in­ci­den­tally, they’ve played on the same teams in hockey, soft­ball and soc­cer as well.

With that level of fa­mil­iar­ity be­tween play­ers, it can make coach­ing the group a bit eas­ier.

“Ev­ery­one has a gen­eral idea of their roles on the team,” said Chay­tor.

“We have good added Edi­son.

The Cavaliers play­ers have cham­pi­onship ex­pe­ri­ence this sea­son. Most of the team were a part of provin­cial ti­tle teams in soc­cer and soft­ball ear­lier this year and that’s some­thing they’ll look to use to their ad­van­tage come March 18-20 when they host the AAA male tour­na­ment.

“The win gives us a lot of con­fi­dence,” said Chay­tor said of the Keat­ing win.

chem­istry,”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Laval Cavaliers de­feated the NLBA un­der-15 team 80-57 to bring home the Keith Keat­ing Me­mo­rial Tour­na­ment Tier II cham­pi­onship on Nov. 29. Mem­bers of the team are: front (l-r) — Kolton Green, Wil­liam Neville, T.J. Schu­mann, Liam Shea, Michael Leonard-Power and Jor­dan Pomeroy; back — coach Mark Nash, Chris DeSilva, Jor­dan Roche, Justin Edi­son, An­drew Kelly, Michael Nash, Zach Young, Joel Nash and coach Klark Chay­tor. Miss­ing from the photo is Cody Power.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Eleanor Hobbs won medals of ev­ery colour at the Spe­cial Olympics World Games in Los An­ge­les this sum­mer. Upon her re­turn back to New­found­land in Au­gust, her home­town of New Per­li­can took time to rec­og­nize the swim­mer’s achieve­ments. Hobbs is seen here on the far left be­side New Per­li­can Mayor Bill Matthews, Her­itage New Per­li­can chair Eileen Matthews and Sherry Lee Bur­rage from New Per­li­can Recre­ation.

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