Cavaliers claim Keith Keating title
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 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.
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.
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.
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.