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Monday, Oct. 22, 2018
Bridesmaids return to claim Rainbow crowns
by Randy Pascal

With Nicholas Burke pouring in an astounding 32 of his team's 35 points on Wednesday, the Northeastern Cougars claimed the Rainbow Board Elementary Basketball crown that just barely eluded them a year ago, downing the Princess Anne Panthers 35-27.

"He's so fast, he drives well to the basket, and that kid is so determined," noted Northeastern head coach Dale Beausoleil of his offensive juggernaut. "He's going up, and he's got two to three bodies in front of him, and he's still scoring."

Fraser Larocque and Ashton Martel answered with nine and eight points respectively for Princess Anne, who trailed 19-14 at the half. The teams were going head to head for the first time all year, despite both having participated in various local tournaments along the way.

"I didn't know how it was going to go," acknowledged Beausoleil, looking to deal with a clear-cut height advantage that favoured the Panthers. "I knew it was going to be close." And while it might seem like it was "The Nick Burke Show", and nothing else, Beausoleil explained that this certainly wasn't the case.

"It sounds like a one-man team, when you look at it on paper, but they worked hard as a team, on defense," he stated. "Everybody stepped up. We know that Nick's role is to get a lot of baskets for us, but Ravyn's (Mendonca) role is to rebound for us, Braeden's (Smith) role is to get in the paint and play some tough defense."

"This team really understood their roles." The Northeastern team, many of whom were also part of the Rainbow championship volleyball squad, included Owen Pawluk, Cameron Showers, Brandon Rudigen, Ravyn Mendonca, Ian Mackey, Zach Vanier, Cole Molyneaux, Ayden Popowich, Braeden Smith and Nicholas Burke.

A former bridesmaid also made her way to the ball in the girls final, as the R.L. Beattie Barons knocked off the Churchill Chargers 24-20, just a year removed from falling 28-24 to the MacLeod Mustangs in the gold medal encounter.

The game bore a strong resemblance to the opening of the Stanley Cup playoffs for much of the first half, as stifling defences on both sides saw the scoreboard reading 1-0 R.L. Beattie with under five minutes to play.

But the scoring would come, as the Barons and Cougars remained deadlocked at 9-9 at halftime, with Beattie pulling away in the second half. A balanced attack helped propel the winners, as Delaney Bourget (9), Sami Dunlop (7) and Arianna Ghorbani and Victoria Adams (four each) all contributed offensively for R.L. Beattie.

By contrast, Claudia Pellerin accounted for 16 of Churchill's 20 points in a losing cause. This marks the first time since 2009, and only the second time ever, that R.L Beattie has claimed the girls crown, while the Northeastern triumph was their third in four years, and fifth title since 2002.

The lineup for the R.L. Beattie girls featured Maggie Emery, Grace Tressider, Delaney Bourget, Arianna Ghorbani, Talia Gauthier, Sami Dunlop, Victoria Adams, Katriana Thai, and head coach Paul Dupont.

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