The first half of the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games wrapped up with medal games Tuesday.
Mount Pearl/South’s Alex DaVilla of the St. Peter’s junior high Pythons drives to the net against St. John’s/North’s Josh Coombs of Leary’s Brook Junior High during the boys’ basketball gold medal game at the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in Clarenville on Tuesday. Mount Pearl/South claimed gold with a 60-49 victory.
— Photo by Kenn Oliver/The Telegram
At Clarenville Middle School, Mount Pearl/South, represented by the St. Peter’s junior high Pythons, capped an undefeated week with a 60-49 win over the St. John/North Leary’s Brook junior high Eagles in the gold medal game.
“We haven’t played them this year, so we came into this game blind and not knowing what they’re like,” says the Pythons’ Brandon Power. “Beating them by 11 is a huge accomplishment.”
Coach Wally Tobin says the key to victory was a relentless frontcourt press that threw Leary’s Brook off their game.
“Once we started pressuring them and moving ahead on the scoreboard they were feeling the pressure and turning the ball over a little more.”
The Pythons brought one of the biggest teams to the Games this week with several players well over six feet in height.
“It works to our advantage because we can play a post game,” Tobin noted adding that even the bigger kids “have foot speed, so they’re well able to play in their position.”
The gold medal game represented the closest margin of victory for Mount Pearl/South all week. In two of their round-robin games, they outscored the competition by over 50 points, including an 85-21 pounding of Avalon.
“They played hard when they needed to and played with great sportsmanship in some of the games where we could slack off a little bit,” Tobin says.
The Pythons’ season won’t end with the Winter Games, there’s still the matter of the provincial championships later this month. Power offered a prediction on that tournament’s outcome.
“The Pythons took the Winter Games and they’re going to take provincials.”
In the bronze medal game, Western defeated the Host team 58-41. Central took fifth, Avalon sixth and Labrador finished last.
Meanwhile in girls’ basketball, St. John’s/North downed Western 38-18 for gold and Mount Pearl/South defeated Avalon 36-24 to win bronze. The Host team took fifth and Central placed sixth.
Sports in the second half of the games include alpine skiing, badminton, table tennis, boys’ hockey, boys’ and girls’ volleyball, gymnastics and figure skating.
Play starts tonight in boys’ hockey with the rest getting underway Thursday morning.