Another weekend, another tournament title. Such has been the fate of the highflying Holy Cross Crusaders senior boys basketball team of late.
The Crusaders picked up their championship trophy in as many weeks when they won the Brentwood College Countdown to Playoffs tournament in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island Saturday.
The tournament was a welcome test for the Crusaders - who are currently ranked No. 1 in B.C. among class AA teams - as it featured second-ranked St. Michael's University School and fourth-ranked Brentwood College.
With a schedule that compressed four games into two days, the Brentwood tourney was a test of endurance as much a test of basketball skills. The Crusaders opened the event with a 48-44 win over Mark Isfeld and then downed co-host Shawnigan Lake 68-52 on Friday.
Early Saturday morning, the Crusaders passed a tough test when they downed St. Michael's 60-53 in the semifinals.
"It was kind of an eye-opener for us to see a team that everyone thinks is better than us," said Crusaders coach Matt LeChasseur. "One of the reasons we go over there is to see some of the top teams so this tournament was good that way. Our guys weren't overly excited about the St. Mike's game because we played it at 10 in the morning but they were pumped up about playing one of the top teams in the province. It was good win for us and the guys felt pretty good about themselves afterward.
It was a good test for us and we were lucky enough to come out on top."
The Crusaders faced another test in the final when they took on co-host Brentwood College. Tied 59-59 at the end of regulation, Holy Cross wrested control of the game early in the overtime session. Point guard Taylor Browne hit a big three-pointer and the Crusaders quickly followed up a pair of lay-ups to grab a seven-point lead that sapped the will from the Brentwood players.
Holy Cross held Brentwood to just four points in OT and cruised to a 72-63 win.
"Our size worked in our favour as the game went along because we just took over under the glass," LeChasseur said. "Our overall size gives teams a lot of problems and we were able to pound the ball inside more as the game went on. When we did that, it created more room on the outside for Taylor and our other guards to get some good looks on shots."
Aaron Madaisky led Holy Cross with 22 points in the final while Henry Maduabueke chipped in with 19.
Defensive whiz Stanley Maduabueke, Henry's twin brother, was named the tournament MVP.
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