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Tuesday, May. 21, 2019
Lancers withstand third quarter run for the three-peat
by Randy Pascal

You can make it three straight banner-winning years for the Lasalle Lancers seniors and six of the past eight, as the homeside withstood an early second half run by the Lo-Ellen Park Knights, pulling away for a 68-50 triumph.

Up by eight at the half, the Lancers might have been caught somewhat off guard as the Knights charged out of the gate in quarter three, taking the lead, 33-32, only to see the Sudbury juggernaut respond with a 15-2 run to close out the period.

The winners were led by an impressive 32 point performance from Brennan LaPierre, with Michael Babcock adding 14 points of his own. “I was hitting my shots and my teammates were finding me early,” said LaPierre. “That was the biggest thing, especially in a zone, when we are moving the ball to shift the zone and get me open shots. I was making those threes today.”

Meanwhile, the junior Knights rode a 20-0 first quarter assault and cruised to a 54-37 win over the Notre-Dame Alouettes, as Ethan Scott (14), Thomas Asselin (10) and Charlie Hennessey (8) spearheaded the Lo-Ellen attack.

“We have a really good coach (Mike Clarke), the same coach from last year, so he was able to work with a lot of the players we had on our junior team last year,” said returnee Jack Sheehan. “He told us never to underestimate our opponents, go into each game like it's the hardest game we're going to play in the season.”

“He told us there were three main things that he wanted us to make sure that we did: rebounding, making sure we don't do turnovers, and play good defence.” That's a recipe for success that will typically work for most basketball teams, including the Notre-Dame Alouettes midgets, who opened the evening troika with a 65-46 win over the Lasalle Lancers in their gold medal tilt.

Zacharie Demers (21), Jean Kessie (13), Pierson Sobush (11) and Nico Simon (11) were the key contributors offensively, while Hayden Radey did most of the damage for Lasalle, accounting for more than a third of their total with a 16-point performance.

“When we had tryouts, I knew that we had a pretty good team,” conceded Demers, who came to CND following his graduation from École St Pierre. “We worked a lot on our press, and a lot of layups, obviously, because when you get those open looks, you've got to make them.”

Of course, it also doesn't hurt when you're pitching a shutout defensively through the opening eight minutes of play. The Alouettes were nothing if not absolutely tenacious on their press. “We try and make sure their players go to the baseline, so we can trap there, and if they reverse it, usually they are stuck there and it's eight seconds (violation), or it's a turnover when they try and do a long pass.”

Most of the teams noted above now move on to NOSSA championships this coming weekend, though thankfully, they are not scheduled all into a tightly jammed stretch of a half day or so.

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