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Varsity basketball team wins UCC tournament

Upper Canada College’s varsity basketball team won its own tournament on the weekend and gained revenge over a Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) rival in the process.

The Blues began the tournament on the afternoon of Jan. 29 with a dominant outing against Newtonbrook that included contributions by all the team members and resulted in a 72-27 win.

That qualified the team for a semi-final game the next morning against Brebeuf, and it emerged with the upper hand in a 66-37 decision.

“The semi-final was a challenge but — with a stout defensive effort, particularly with our ability to control the pace of the game — we were able to come away victorious,” says assistant coach Adam Harnack.

From there it was on to the final game against Ridley College. The game was highly anticipated by the home team since it had earlier lost by 25 points to the St. Catharines, Ont. school. This match was much tighter and, when the final buzzer went off, the scoresheet read UCC 54 and Ridley 51.

“The boys came in with a solid game plan and executed phenomenally,” says Harnack. “With a total of eight turnovers for the entire game, we were able to control the tempo, create second chance opportunities and ultimately earn a hard-fought victory and championship.”

In CISAA league play, Ridley has a 4-1 won-loss record while UCC sits two points behind with a 3-1 record. They both trail St. Michael’s College School, the first place team which is undefeated after seven games. UCC’s next game is on Wednesday against the winless St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ont.

UCC’s junior varsity team also took part in the seventh annual UCC tournament. The boys won their opening game 69-59 over Western Tech, but fell 70-27 to Ridley in their semi-final. The team regrouped and showed its resilience to capture third place after beating Brebeuf 64-58.

The junior varsity team is 6-1 and leads the CISAA’s West Division. It hosts Hillfield Strathallen College, which has a 2-5 record, on Wednesday.

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