Rally falls a bit short

Benny Yellowknee of the E.W. Pratt Chargers goes in for the lay-up against the High Level Bears in the championship final.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The E.W. Pratt Chargers placed second in the sixth annual Tonesha Walker Memorial Basketball Tournament on Dec. 8-9 in High Prairie.

A major comeback by the hometown Chargers in the final fell short as the High Level Bears held on to win 83-77 and the 16-team tournament.

Bryce Hardisty-Phil- lips led the way with 19 points for Pratt, Benny Yellowknee sank 17 and Iver Paulino added 15.

Down by 28 points in the second quarter, the Chargers rallied to make the game close.

“I am very proud of our team,” says head coach Neil Barry, in his first year in the role.

“Many teams would have given up to be down so much early in the game, but they believed in the game plan and improved as the game went on and brought it down to the final seconds of play.”

Several shots by the Chargers missed the target in the final minutes.

“We came back from the deficit because we started focusing on defence and letting our offence flow from that,” Barry says.

“We are a very athletic and conditioned team and knew that we could wear the other team down with our pressure defence as the game progressed.”

High Level jumped out to a 32-15 lead after the first quarter and 53-34 at the half.

The Chargers outscored the Bears 20-6 in the final quarter.

Paulino won the Tonesha Walker Overall Male Award in the tournament while Yellow- knee and Kye Anderson were named all stars.

“Bryce was huge for us on defence in the final game,” Barry says.

The effort of the Chargers has inspired the coach.

“We are excited about the season and believe we have the potential to be the best in our zone if we put in the work at practice,” Barry says.

Pratt defeated the Peace High Nomads of Peace River 70-41 in the semifinals.

Anderson led the attack with 16 points, Hardisty-Phillips had 14, while Yellowknee and Paulino chipped in 13 points each.

A local rivalry was renewed as the Chargers humbled the St. Andrew’s Saints 86-59 in the quarter-finals.

Paulino sank 17 points, Anderson and Yellowknee added 15 each, Brendyn Larson nailed 12 and Hardisty-Phillips scored 11 for the Chargers.

Dorin Shaw sank 17 points to lead the Saints. Ajee Auger and Evan Gladue each recorded 12.

Pratt defeated the Kinuso Knights 80-26 to open the tournament.

Dustin Chalifoux drained 23 points to lead the Chargers. Larry Yellowknee tapped in 14 and Hardisty-Phillips added 11.

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