They say a good defence is your best offence.
Don't tell that to the Howe Sound Secondary senior boys basketball team this week, though.
Although the Sounders showed an excellent all-around team effort in last weekend's (Jan. 17/18) tournament at Chatelech High School in Sechelt, it was the defence that ultimately cost them the tournament championship.
"Defensively we didn't have an answer for their star player," said Sounders coach Ron Roberts. "He must've scored about 35 against us. We dug ourselves too deep a hole early on and had to dig ourselves out. We expended too much energy trying to mount a comeback but just ran out of time."
The Sounders lost 82-71 to the Chatelech Eagles in the championship game - the second time in as many weeks that they lost to the host team in the tournament final.
Chatelech led 40-28 at half-time and increased that lead to 20 with just under five minutes to go.But that's when things started to get interesting.
The Sounders used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 12 with four and a half minutes to play. Chatelech couldn't handle the Sounders' pressure defense and turned over the ball several times down the stretch. The Sounders kept pecking away at the lead and with just under two minutes to play, Chat was only up 72-68, but came out on top after the Sounders threw up some failed, last-minute three point attempts, winning by 11 in the end.
"Everyone played as hard as they could all weekend. I felt we all came together, it was a total team effort," said Roberts.
The Sounders played two solid games in getting to the final, edging out John Oliver Jokers by one (71-70) in the first game of the tournament, then trouncing the Elphinstone Cougars by 18 (83-65) to advance to Sunday's final match.
Playing without Max Roy and Jeremy Galley, two of the top players on the squad, the Sounders called upon every player on the team to come up with a strong effort.
"They faced adversity all weekend and they played fantastic, they stepped up to the challenge and played great," said Roberts.
"I was very proud of every player's performance in the tournament."
Andre Zuckerman, who displayed a strong court presence throughout the tournament, was named the Sounders' tournament MVP.
"He was definitely a catalyst out there," Roberts said. "He made things happen on the floor."
Coach Roberts was disappointed with the loss, but not by the effort of his team.
"We had a short bench and we had no answer for de Aaron Jong [Chatelech's high scorer] - that kid is a terrific player," Roberts said. "Our guys left everything they had on the floor. Chat played a strong game and deserved to win."
High scorers in the tournament for the Sounders were J.R Parke and Jens Ourom.
The Sounders next league game is on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 24) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas at 1 p.m. at Howe Sound Secondary.
With files from Todd Lawson, Chief Staff Writer