St. Mary’s Bay Academy Stingrays will shoot for gold today after upsetting the top-seeded East Antigonish Mustangs 71-68 in a semi-final nail biter at the Division 3 provincial championships at AWEC in Annapolis Royal Saturday afternoon.
The fourth-seeded Stingrays will take on the third-seeded Shelburne Rebels today at 11 a.m. The Rebels toppled the Hants North Flames 84-52 in the first semi-final game Saturday.
The Mustangs struck first yesterday but the Stingrays quickly answered as both teams exchanged several leads throughout the entire game.
SMBA held a 12-10 first quarter edge over the Mustangs while the East Antigonish squad finished with a 34-32 half time lead.
The Stingrays outscored the Mustangs 18-16 in the third as they headed into the final frame tied at 50.
The Mustangs got their biggest lead of the game, scoring five unanswered points early in the fourth quarter but Shayne Clements’ three-pointer and Byron Mullen’s bucket tied it up.
With just over a minute to play, Brandon Doucette was fouled on a drive to a hoop and made good on one of two shots from the line which brought the SMBA fans to their feet.
Mackenzie Ford netted two at the line followed by an easy bucket from Shayne Clements’ long inbound pass down the court to make it a five-point game. Raheem Johnson’s bucket at the buzzer was not enough and the Stingrays celebrated the upset.
Stingrays’ Shayne Clements and Mustangs’ Kendall Breen fired up their teams and the crowd as each player connected for five and six treys respectively throughout the match.
Coach Brad Bright was beaming as he expressed praise for his team.
“The boys played so much like a team for the full 40 minutes,” Said Bright. “East Antigonish was a tough team to play, but SMBA wanted this semi-final game badly. It was a big upset.
“We got beat around but the boys kept their head in the game,” he added. “The fan support was amazing, their cheering gave us lots of momentum when we needed it.”
Mackenzie Ford scored 26 points and Shayne Clements poured in 21 to spark the Stingray offence. Byron Mullen finished with 14 for the win.
Kendall Breen topped the Mustangs with 28 points while Dylan Wallace scored 20 and Raheem Johnson added 19 for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs take on the Hants North Flames in the bronze medal game at 9 a.m. today.
The provincial championships were rescheduled for Saturday and today due to storm related school closures.