The Central Cyclones went on a 13-0 run early in the first quarter and never looked back during Tuesday night's Moose Jaw High School Senior Boys Basketball Championship.
Central clinched its fourth straight city championship with an 84-51 win over the Vanier Vikings at Sask Polytech. The win allows the Cyclones' group of seven seniors to complete a run of three straight titles together.
"It's really nice, it's a big accomplishment for Central and all the guys, even the new guys, it's good experience and now we're off to regionals and Hoopla and hopefully this time we'll take it home," said Central senior Jaxson Brownell, who had a game-high 23 points in the win.
The Cyclones finished with a 10-0 record in league play this season while also posting numerous other victories at tournaments around the Prairies. Their dominating play carried over into the final on Tuesday, despite Vanier battling to keep up throughout the game.
"It feels super good, we played well as a team and we played good defence," said Central’s Riley Seaborn. "[Vanier] was physical, they played really good, they came to play today."
The Vikings push the Cyclones at every corner during the game, but the early run from Central was too much to overcome for Vanier in the end.
Vikings senior Riley Follensbee, who was held to two points in the final, said it's been a great experience battling against the Cyclones for the past few years.
"These past four years have been a blessing, I don't think many people get an opportunity to play against a great team like that," said Follensbee. "We played our heart out, but that's a great team."
Follensbee feels that playing against the Cyclones has made him a better player and Vanier a better team.
"It forces you to get better, I've been getting better for the past four years because I'm gunning for that [upset] moment and it sucks to come up short in your grade 12 year, but it's truly a blessing and you appreciate the grind to get better," he said.
Powered by the 13-0 run, the Cyclones took a 21-12 lead after the first quarter and then extended that to 46-26 at halftime. Vanier came out in the second half and kept pace with Central, staying within 20 points heading into the third, but the Cyclones ended up being too much.
Central's Kyle Boughen said that they executed their game plan to perfection in the game, "I felt like we did a good job of getting our posts the ball, Jaxson was playing really well, we had a mismatch so we kept giving him the ball, he kept performing and putting it in the bucket," he said.
"It's always important to come out hot [in a championship game], show them your ready and it kind of defeats them when you come out hard."
Faris Ebet added 14 points for the Cyclones, while Hardil Khubber finished with 10.
Javan Panko led the Vikings with 14 points in the loss, while Nathan Meili added 10.
The Cyclones will now the 4A Boys Regional Championship this weekend, while the Vikings head to Weyburn to compete in another 4A Regional Championship.