VIDEO: Horton Griffins fall short in final of downsized basketball classic

Kirk Starratt
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They say two out of three isn’t bad but the Horton Griffins would have preferred a clean sweep at their holiday tournament. After winning their first two games at the annual Acadia Basketball Classic on Dec. 27, they came up short against the C.P. Allen Cheetahs in the final game on Dec. 28. The final score was C.P. Allen 91 and Horton 76.

Horton tournament all-star Brett Dickie said following the first victory that it would mean a lot to win the tournament. Tournament all-star Gage Sabean said it would be a great accomplishment, as the classic features the best high school basketball competition in the province.

Following the loss in the final game, Dickie said he thought the team played well over the weekend aside from losing to C.P. Allen in the final.

“It’s a tough loss but they’re a great team,” Dickie said. “They’ve got great shooters.”

Sabean said Horton is a young team and they’d get better with experience as the year goes on.

“They’re all basically Grade 12’s that played together their whole lives,” he said. “We’ll get another shot at them later in the year.”

Dickie and Sabean agreed it was good to get some games in over the Christmas break to help ensure that the team doesn’t lose a step. As pointed out by Sabean, the team has had its fair share of injuries but Dickie said other players have stepped up to fill the void.

“We all battled to the end, you saw it here in this game (against C.P. Allen),” Dickie said.

Griffins coach Kevin Veinot said C.P. Allen did a great job breaking them down, creating good scoring opportunities.

“For us, offensive execution is necessary to win close games,” Veinot said. “Against good competition you have to actually play some good team defence.”

Veinot described the team’s overall performance as average. He pointed out that they defeated C.P. Allen the first time they played this season and they’re looking forward to playing them a third and final time as a tiebreaker. Hopefully they’ll get that opportunity at the upcoming provincial championships.

Griffins coach Jason Clark said they have to give C.P. Allen credit for shooting the ball well.

“They had some open shots and they made them,” Clark said. “We needed to score more points than we did so offensively we have to execute a little better and make the easy shots.”

Veinot said it’s always advantageous to host your own tournament and get to enjoy the comforts of home. Clark said Horton has been hosting a Christmas tournament for several years, inviting the top teams to play.

“We want to play the best teams,” Clark said. “It gives our boys a chance to get better.”

Veinot said the tournament gives players a chance to shake off the holiday rust but pointed out that the wins that count the most come at the provincial championship. He said the Griffins have to improve to bring home the banner.

The tournament schedule had to be revised after two teams were unable to make the trip to Greenwich. Veinot said he received an email from the Dartmouth Spartans coach Boxing Day evening saying they wouldn’t be able to bring a team because several players had work commitments. The other coaches were contacted and a new schedule was drawn up.

Veinot said they then received an email from the Auburn High School coach the morning of Dec. 27 to inform organizers that their team wouldn’t be able to attend because of a lack of transportation. The schedule again had to be changed to accommodate the remaining teams. Horton got the action underway on Dec. 27, winning their first game against the Prince Andrew Panthers 111 to 92. They won their second game against Sir John A. 98 to 69.

The other games on Dec. 27 saw C.P. Allen defeat Sir John A. by a score of 103 to 89 and C.P. Allen defeat Prince Andrew by a score of 100 to 86.

Organizations: Auburn High School

Geographic location: Greenwich

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