Game recap by: Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In the consolation final of the Shoveller Memorial Invitational Basketball Tournament, the UPEI Panthers were taking on the Concordia Stingers. After a slow start from both sides, rebounding on the offensive end proved to be the difference maker for the Stingers as they earned the 56-53 victory.
It was a slow start on both sides of the floor in the first quarter with neither team able to find their shooting touch in the early minutes. The Stingers were forced to take tough outside shots throughout the first, but were only shooting 16% from the field.
The Panthers were able to start taking the ball inside and using D'Adrian Allen as a force on the boards, picking up four of them and converting them into second chance points.
After one quarter Concordia held a slight edge at 12-11.
Bench contributions were key for Concordia, with their top two scorers coming off of the bench.
It continued to be a tough stretch of shooting for both teams, with scoring coming from fast breaks generated by turnovers.
Through two quarters Allen led the Panthers with six points and four rebounds, while Olivier Simon (Terrebonne, QC) led for the Stingers with five points and two rebounds.
Heading into the break the score was knotted at 23-23.
Both teams came out with higher intensity in the second half, but the rebounding swung in the favour of the Stingers, especially on the offensive end. The extra possessions allowed them to get ahead to a 44-36 lead thanks to the shooting of Olivier Simon.
D'Adiran Allen was still getting it done on the inside for the Panthers with two more hard dunks in the quarter.
Heading into the fourth, the Stingers were up 47-40.
Vernelle Johnson (Beechville, NS) and Moshe Wadley (Toronto, ON) opened the quarter well for the Panthers, both picking up three point plays to bring them right back in it.
Both teams spaced the floor well, and used the room to drive to the hoop and trade baskets in the lane.
The Stingers had a three-point lead with a minute to go, with a hectic string of possessions ending in a Panthers turnover, and needing to foul.
Both free-throws were missed and the Panthers rushed down the court for one last shot to beat the buzzer but it rimmed out to end the game with Concordia taking it 56-53.
Vernelle Johnson was named the player of the game for UPEI, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds. Oliver Simon earned the title for Concordia with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Ricardo Monge (Gatineau, QC) was named the tournament all-star for Concordia with his team finishing in 5th place.