Defending champs lose season openers


Prairie River Junior High School’s Dave Espina, centre, is caught between two giants during Smoky River Junior High School Basketball League action Nov. 22. Guarding are St. Andrew’s School players Mack Kasinec, left, and Sam Basarab. PRJH won the crosstown battle 51-28 to open the season.

Raiders, Saints discover repeating may be difficult

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The Smoky River Junior High School Basketball League Boy’s Division defending champs were soundly defeated by a team that aspires to take back its crown.

The Prairie River Junior High School Raiders whipped the St. Andrew’s Saints 51-28 in the season opener for both clubs Nov. 22 at PRJH.

It was the Saints first loss in two years as they were undefeated during their title run last season.

PRJH led throughout the game, leading 13-6 after one quarter and 31-16 at the half.

Kieran Larson scored 14 points and Dave Espina 13 as two Raiders scored in double figures.

They had lots of help. Mondi Lascuna added nine points, Nick Johansson six and Nolan Machado five. Daityn Bilyk and Josh Halverson each added two points to complete the scoring.

Ethan Smith led the Saints with eight points while Sam Basarab added six, Colby Cox and Mack Kasinec four points each. Clarence Lindo, Keenan Price and Sebastien Vasquez each added two.

In Slave Lake, the league kicked off with another crosstown battle as the Roland Michener Rams returned to the league and defeated the St. Francis Falcons 60-37.

In the other games, Kinuso eked out a 44-41 win at Gift Lake while no report was forwarded from the Donnelly G.P. Vanier at Atikameg game.

In games this week, the Nov. 29 game featuring St. Andrew’s at Vanier was moved to Nov. 27. The Nov. 29 games see Atikameg at PRJH, Gift Lake at RMSS and St. Francis at Kinuso.

Lady Saints win opener

Last season, the St. Andrew’s School Lady Saints placed first and looked like the favourite to win the league title. It evaded them.

This year, the Saints look stronger than ever after a 35-21 win at Prairie River against the Raiders.

PRJH led 8-6 early but the Saints played with tremendous energy and eventually took control of the game. The Saints scored 14 of the game’s next 15 points to take a 20-11 halftime lead and never looked back. They also led 30-15 after three quarters.

Macey Shaw led the Saints with 10 points while Daisy Porisky added seven. Abbie Cottingham and Ella Deering each added six points while Kendyl Backs, Elle MacIntosh and Madison Price each netted two.

Sadee Cunningham matched Porisky’s game-high 10 points to lead PRJH. Rachel Lemay and Naomi Strebchuk each scored four points and Kelly Stewart three to account for PRJH’s scoring.

In the other game, the Kinuso Knights won 45-28 at Gift Lake.

Keanna Locke scored 24 to lead the Knights while Kyra Giroux added 10.

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