By John DeCoste
The Horton boys and girls, Central Kings boys and NKEC girls are celebrating wins at their respective regional championships played Feb. 15-16.
Horton hosted both the D-1 boys’ and girls’ regionals. Central Kings hosted the D-2 girls, while the D-2 boys’ tournament was in Bridgewater.
The D-1 girls’ regionals was a four-team tournament comprised of Yarmouth, Avon View, Park View and the host Griffins.
On Feb. 15, Horton’s Lauren Joudrey (22 points) and Candace Smith (16) helped top Park View in one semifinal, and Yarmouth outlasted Avon View in the other.
In the final, Horton, which trailed by three at halftime, got 26 points from Smith and 20 from Jodrey in a 54-46 win over Yarmouth.
Horton head coach Jennifer Veinot described the final as “a hard battle. Everybody comes to play hard at playoff time.”
The Griffins won, despite being missing Molly Johnson and having a couple of other players playing through illness.
“It wasn’t always pretty, but the girls stepped up when they had to,” Veinot said.
Horton advances directly to provincials, in Truro Feb. 28 while Yarmouth hosts a qualifier this weekend.
The D-1 boys’ regionals, meanwhile, ended up being one game, winner-take-all on Horton’s home court after Yarmouth advanced by defeating Park View.
In a competitive game, Yarmouth, which had lost to Horton by 60 points the previous week without one of its best players, kept it close for three quarters before Horton pulled off an 18-point victory.
Bradley Fuller finished with 35 points and Alex Thomas 23 for Horton. The Griffins played without Gage Sabean and Jordan Myles, both of whom had the ’flu.
“Our guys showed some good resolve,” Griffins’ co-coach Jason Clark said. “They did a good job staying poised when the game was close, then took the opportunity to put the game away in the fourth quarter.”
With the win, Horton advances directly to provincials Feb. 28 in Sydney Mines.
At the D-2 girls’ regionals in Cambridge, NKEC won the regional banner with a 61-34 won over the host Gators, who were missing a couple of key players, including leading scorer Serena Dolan, due to a conflict with soccer.
Gena Harris led NKEC with 23 points and Anna Jamieson added 11. Dakota Bundy finished with 12 and Mallorie Cornelius 10 for CK.
At the D-2 boys’ regionals, Central Kings captured the regional banner in a 100-62 win over Middleton.
Nigel Simmons had a huge game with 40 points and 13 rebounds, Trent Oickle added 17 points, Kurt Getson 12 and Jonah Lescheid and Dylan Poole 10 points each.
The Gators had advanced to the final with an 80-57 win over Kings Edgehill. Simmons led the way with 26 points, Oickle had 21, Getson 16 and Lescheid 13.
Central Kings, which went 10-0 in league play, improved its overall season record to 29-9 playing against both D-2 and D-1 teams.