Upper Canada College’s varsity basketball team won four games to capture the 16-team Whitby Invitational Senior Boys Basketball Tournament on Jan. 14.
The tournament, hosted by Anderson Collegiate and Vocational Institute, always draws talented squads from around the province, according to assistant coach Adam Harnack.
Friday the 13th was anything but unlucky for the Blues, who kicked off the tournament by playing solid defence and coming away with a 74-48 win over Regina Mundi Catholic School from London, Ont.
The team’s second round game matched it against a gritty squad from Laurier Scarborough. A full team effort pushed the boys to a semi-final berth on Saturday after a 62-50 victory.
The Blues were paired against the host school in the semi-finals and held a narrow 19-17 lead at halftime. But UCC held its opponents to just three points in the third quarter, and that stalwart defensive effort enabled the team to coast to a 53-36 win.
The Blues faced a familiar foe in the final on Saturday evening, J. Clarke Richardson from Ajax, Ont., which had defeated them for the past three years in the tournament. Using this as motivation, UCC came out firing in the first quarter and ended it with a 21-8 lead. But their opponents battled hard and trailed by just 27-24 at halftime. With the score going back and forth throughout the second half, the Blues mounted a stand in the final four minutes and came away with a 58-52 victory and their first tournament championship of the season.
The tournament was also a big success on an individual basis for two UCC players in particular. Adam Sellan was named the tournament’s most valuable player and Jonathan Clinton earned an all-star selection.