Daily Herald Staff
The St. Mary Marauders finally found a solution to the team from Weyburn as they overcame a 22-point deficit to capture the second annual Doug Armstrong senior boy’s basketball tournament in Swift Current on the weekend.
St. Mary, the defending 4A senior boy’s champions, has enjoyed a great deal of success this year winning a number of tournaments, but on two occasions they were beaten by Weyburn in gold-medal contests.
It looked like the string was going to be extended to three defeats against their southern rivals, but 30-point performances from both Austin Oleksyn and Brandon Bonneau lifted the Marauders to the title.
Connor Murray, who has been a key performer for St. Mary all year, continued his fine play with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over Weyburn. Murray and Bonneau were the Marauders leading scorers with 19 points each in their opening win against Yorkton Regional (102-62) while Oleksyn lead all shooters with 18 points in an 86-65 semifinal triumph over Moose Jaw Central.
Kienan Holash also had a strong weekend scoring 14 points – along with Arliss McCloy – in the opening win over Yorkton and he was dominant on the boards in the semifinal victory hauling in 17 rebounds.
St. Mary, along with the Carlton Crusaders who were idle this weekend, will be in North Battleford next weekend for a final tune-up before conference playoffs at the end of the month in Tisdale.
The provincial HOOPLA tournament is in mid-March and both St. Mary and Carlton will be vying for spots in that elite event, but they will have to qualify first through conference and then regional playdowns to get there.
The St. Mary and Carlton senior girl’s teams are also preparing for the conference qualifier in their division as they will both head to Humboldt at the end of the month to see if they can make it to the next step on the road to HOOPLA.