The Brookwood Midget AAA Bullets defeated the Montreal (St. Michel) Monarques 56-48 Sunday afternoon at Riverdale High School. The game was played fast and at the half, Brookwood was already in the lead 24-18.
“We came out very strong. We were able to dictate in the beginning of the game how we wanted them to play,” said Bullets’ head coach Kenny Clyke.
The third quarter started smoothly for the Bullets who rapidly increased their lead to 29-22 thanks to two baskets and a foul shot.
Youri Wadestrandt made a nice defensive play with 4:40 left in the quarter when he intercepted the ball before pushing up front for the lay up. His team mate Godsman Kwakwah also recuperated the ball in the defensive zone seconds later which led to Adam Pace’s basket on the counter-attack. The score was then 33-22.
Montreal reacted strongly before the end of the quarter. Jonathan Garesher-Fatal scored after a nice incursion in Brookwood’s zone to narrow the score at 33-24. Twenty seconds later, Stevens Étienne forced a foul on the Bullets but missed his two free throws. The Monarques would get a 50 per cent success rate on their free throws in the second half (7 out of 14).
The Bullets fared better in that department. Rasheed Oliver was fouled as he charged the net 40 seconds later and netted both free throws to put the score at 35-24.
After two successful foul shots by the Monarques, Brookwood came right back to business with a basket and a three-pointer. With less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Brookwood was in the lead 39-26.
Oliver and Samuel Ilinga scored on two free throws each before the end of the quarter to put Brookwood ahead by 43-29 before the beginning of the fourth quarter.
After Étienne had made 43-31 early in the quarter, Kwakwah replied for the Bullets with a three-pointer with 7:20 left. Wadestrandt then made a low pass to Pace from the top of the offensive zone. Pace picked it up from the ground and netted it easily to put Brookwood ahead by 48-34.
The Monarques made things interesting with about five minutes left by netting three unanswered baskets to narrow the score at 48-40. Montreal’s Holdy Duvil got a good chance to tighten the score seconds later as Brookwood was leading 50-40. He obtained three free throws after a Brookwood foul. He nailed two of them to put the score at 50-42. Montreal scored another basket immediately after to narrow the score to six mere points. However, the Bullets resisted to this end-of-the-game comeback by scoring three more baskets and the game ended with a score of 56-48.
Monarques’ head coach Rubens Poteau felt there were many things that prevented his team from getting the win.
“We had trouble with our defensive play. We weren’t able to score enough. We did not have enough practice beforehand. We lacked precision on our foul shots. We also had an injured centre going into the game too,” he said.
As for Clyke, he felt his team’s experience showed on the court during the game, especially when the Monarques were attempting a comeback at the end of the game.
“I have a lot of guys that have been on this team for two years so they’re used to it so it was just a matter of taking a time-out, letting them know we’d been through this before, take our time and deal with it,” he said.