Per­fect start for BCI

Mus­tangs win Game 1 of se­nior boys vol­ley­ball se­ries

The Expositor (Brantford) - - SPORTS - BRIAN SMILEY EX­POS­I­TOR STAFF bsmi­ley@post­media.com twit­ter.com/expb­smi­ley

Brantford Col­le­giate In­sti­tute’s se­nior boys vol­ley­ball team is one win away from a per­fect Brant County high school sea­son.

Fac­ing Paris Dis­trict High School in the open­ing game of the best-of-three cham­pi­onship se­ries on Thurs­day at As­sump­tion Col­lege, the Mus­tangs de­feated the Pan­thers 25-18, 23-25, 25-18 and 25-14.

Game 2 will be played Fri­day at ACS, fol­low­ing the 4 p.m. ju­nior game, at about 5:30 p.m. If nec­es­sary, Game 3 would be Mon­day at ACS with the time to be de­ter­mined.

BCI’s record now is 12 wins and no losses.

“I’m re­ally proud of all the boys,” said BCI’s Ben Per­reault.

“There’s been a few ups and downs, but mostly ups.”

Per­reault said the Mus­tangs are not tak­ing the Pan­thers lightly.

“Vol­ley­ball is a men­tal game so you have to stay up to win,” he said.

“They take points off your mis­takes and if you make more mis­takes, you’re go­ing to lose.”

Per­reault said a cham­pi­onship would be a great end­ing to the sea­son.

“It would mean a lot es­pe­cially be­cause of last year when we had a heart­break­ing loss in the semi­fi­nals,” he said.

“It would be a re­lief for a lot of the fifth years. We came back with a bit of a sour taste in our mouths from last year.”

With Sam Dre­kic on the line, the Mus­tangs quickly went ahead 5-0 on Thurs­day. A spike from Paris’ Sam Szmeret­zky stopped the bleed­ing mo­men­tar­ily. But, af­ter a Jor­dan DeGeit hit, BCI was back in busi­ness with a 9-3 lead.

Be­hind 17-7, the Pan­thers tried to turn things around by call­ing a time­out. But the Mus­tangs would not be de­nied in tak­ing a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five match.

The sec­ond set was more com­pet­i­tive as nei­ther team was able to get more than a two-point ad­van­tage un­til Per­reault put BCI ahead 10-7. How­ever, that lead was short-lived. Af­ter Tan­ner Fron­chak was done serv­ing for PDHS, it was 10-10.

Once again though the Mus­tangs went to work. With Per­reault again lead­ing the way, the score moved to 17-13 for BCI. From there, DeGeit and Lo­gan Evans had hits and the match ap­peared to be well on its way to be­ing 2-0 in favour of the Mus­tangs.

How­ever, trail­ing by more than a hand­ful of points, Paris called a time­out. Af­ter an im­pas­sioned speech from Cullen Keefe, the Pan­thers took a 23-21 lead.

On its heels, BCI called a time­out but it couldn’t turn the tide and Paris evened the match at 1-1.

Things were even closer in the third set, with both teams trad­ing points to start things. It wasn’t un­til the score was 11-10 for Paris that one team sep­a­rated it­self from the other.

Fol­low­ing sev­eral strong serves by Dre­kic and a Jack Wu hit off an ex­tended rally, BCI was able to get in front 18-11. And, although Paris bat­tled back, this time the lead was too big to over­come.

Build­ing an 8-3 ad­van­tage in the fourth set, the Mus­tangs were never re­ally chal­lenged on their way to win­ning the match.

The Pan­thers came into the fi­nal as the un­der­dog.

Win­ning the sec­ond set on Thurs­day was big but the Pan­thers couldn’t keep it go­ing.

“The mo­men­tum shifted our way and then we started to fall apart,” said Pre­ston Burr of Paris.

“The lit­tle things we were do­ing right, we started to pick apart each other so we kind of fell apart as a team and that al­lowed them to take the mo­men­tum back.”

The Pan­thers were cer­tainly ready to play

“We knew it was go­ing to be tough but we knew we could beat them,” Burr said. “We’ve taken a cou­ple of sets off of them be­fore.”

The Pan­thers ex­pect to be ready for Game 2,

“We know we can take sets off them,” said Burr.

“We just have to clean up the lit­tle things.”

BRIAN THOMP­SON/THE EX­POS­I­TOR

Ben Per­reault of BCI goes up to block a spike at­tempt by Dante Beer of Paris Dis­trict High School dur­ing the high school se­nior boys vol­ley­ball fi­nal on Thurs­day.

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