Onwards to the ‘ship the saints go!

The Saints regroup

Cedric Payne

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013, marked the most pivotal game of the St. George’s Varsity Basketball Team’s season, as they faced off the Vancouver College Fighting Irish in the second of the two-game series. A loss in this game would mean an early end to their season, and the race to the provincial championships would always be just a dream.

Since losing the first game, the Saints came ready to play starting off the scoring early, and for the majority of the game the Saints held a ten-point spread. The game ended up being a blowout for the Saints, winning and finishing with a final score of 78-65.

To decide which team would go onto the lower mainland tournament, the two teams had a third and final bout that would take place just four days after the second game.

On Saturday, February 16,The Saints and Irish fans came in hoards to St. John’s School’s gym–picked for its neutral location–ready to cheer away their respective teams. The gym was absolutely packed, which was surprising considering the game was taking place at noon, not the usual late afternoon tipoff. Saints fan Thomas Cheung had this to say: “I will always cheer for my boys; no matter what time it is. In my mind it’s always game time.”

The Saints once again started the lead right off the bat, putting up the majority of points in the first quarter. As the game progressed the Irish did catch up, but somehow they seemed to lose focus and fall behind again. By the end of the first half, the score was almost tied up with the Saints leading 34-32. Back and forth the two teams went and by the end of the third quarter it was all tied up with both teams scoring an astounding 54 points each.

Finally came the fourth quarter; the pressure was on and both teams knew it. With outstanding 3 pointers from both teams, both crowds were kept on their toes.  The fourth quarter was coming to a close with both teams battling hard, and with only 30 seconds left on the clock Tylon Barker stole the ball on a breakaway, slamming the only dunk of the game, and erupting the Saints fans into pandemonium. The dunk put the Saints at a much-needed lead of 76-69 points.

The game ended with the Irish catching up to a nail-biting one-point difference, but the Saints just barely fended them off winning the game 78-77. The Saints fans rushed the court rejoicing with their beloved team, even before both teams shook hands. “I think everyone was just too excited after the game to not rush the court; it was like a dream come true”, said Tylon Barker.

The Saints move on to the Lower Mainland Championships, leaving the Irish behind in the dust. Only time will tell whether or not the Saints can do what hasn’t been done in over four years, the most prized BC high school basketball possession, to be Provincial Champions.