CALGARY TEAM WINS BRIT TITLE
Calgary team wins BRIT title
HOOPING IT UP
The Bedford Road Invitational Tournament has been providing classic moments for basketball fans since 1968. The 51st running of the tournament this past weekend only added more.
This year’s BRIT featured a dramatic third-place showdown between two Saskatoon rivals — a game that featured an improbable last-minute comeback, and felt more like a championship game. Moments later the battle of Alberta broke out in the tournament’s real championship game. In the end, it was a Saskatoon born-andraised head coach who was raising the championship trophy.
Calgary’s Bishop Mcnally Timberwolves emerged as tournament champions in their first-ever appearance at BRIT, with a 66-57 victory over provincial rival Edmonton Harry Ainlay Titans. For Calgary head coach Tylor Korol, it was a victory he had been preparing a lifetime for.
“It’s pretty incredible,” noted Korol, who was also named coach of the tournament. “The allure of the BRIT, goes across Western Canada for sure. Having the opportunity to bring these kids to it and to be successful, it’s pretty fantastic.
“I’m actually born in Saskatoon. I’ve got family here that have played in it, that’s come and watched it for years, so I know what the BRIT is all about and being able to share this with my (team) is unreal.”
His grandmother, a Bedford Road alumna, was on hand along with his mother to witness the championship.
Korol moved away from Saskatoon while still in elementary school, but he was amazed that his name will be added to the same coach-of-the-tournament plaque that his own former high school coach Mike Fullerton of Calgary Sir. Winston Churchill won at BRIT in 2013.
In the championship game, Bishop Mcnally jumped out to a 20-9 lead over Harry Ainlay in the first quarter, and maintained a reasonably comfortable lead throughout most of the game. Edmonton fought to close the gap to within four points late in the fourth, before Calgary snuffed out the comeback dreams.
Two hours earlier a raucous crowd had packed the rafters for a third-place duel that saw two Saskatoon Nelson Road rivals go toe to toe. In the end, the Centennial Chargers celebrated an 84-80 comeback overtime victory over the St. Joseph Guardians.
The three-time defending Saskatoon city champion Guardians maintained a lead for the majority of the game, including 42-33 at the half and 62-56 after three. They appeared destined for victory until the dying stages of regulation.
Trailing by seven with under a minute to play, Centennial scored eight of the next nine points to send a 76-76 game to overtime. At which point Centennial captain Nick Johnson took the game into his own hands, scoring all eight overtime points for his team. He finished with a game high 31.
“It was really impressive,” said Centennial Charger head coach Kory Dawe, “It was wow!”
“We just didn’t quit,” Dawe added. “It’s just funny how momentum can shift, and we capitalized. We made some free throws we needed to and we just played with lots of heart and determination.
“Nick Johnson is our captain. He’s a third-year veteran Grade 12 player. He’s a basketball lifer in the community here and he saved his best for last.”
OVERTIME: Bishop Mcnally guard Ben Kamba was named tournament MVP ... Joining him on the all-star team were teammate Bichail Peters, as well as Harry Ainlay championship opponents Ajou Ajou and Tyler Burbank. Centennial’s Nick Johnson also made the team along with Mason Durham of St. Joseph … The Holy Cross Crusader junior boys were the 3 on 3 winners … The BRIT cheer competition was replaced this year by a pom and cheer showcase that saw 23 entries.
The Bishop Mcnally Timberwolves of Calgary topped the Harry Ainlay Titans from Edmonton in the BRIT championship game in Saskatoon Saturday night.
Organizers would not be able to put on any tournament if it weren’t for the work of dedicated volunteers.
The Bishop Mcnally Timberwolves on the bench were pumped up watching their teammates put up points en route to claiming the BRIT championship title Saturday.
The Harry Ainlay Titans had a group of passionate fans make the trip from Edmonton to support them to a second-place finish in Saskatoon.
Bishop Mcnally Timberwolves coach Tyler Korol works the referee during the final game, perhaps telling the ref how things are done in Calgary.
Calgary’s Bishop Mcnally Timberwolves guard James Trinidad, right, brushes past Edmonton Harry Ainlay Titans guard Tyler Burbank during the BRIT final in Saskatoon Saturday. Mcnally won 66-57.