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Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018
Lancers claim second straight NOSSA banner
by Randy Pascal

Perhaps the tides are shifting in the seas of the northern high school boys basketball scene.

For much of the past decade or more, teams representing Sault Ste Marie have carted off more than their fair share of basketball banners, with NOSSA championships contested at the end of each February.

Not only would the 2017 NOSSA "AA" Boys Basketball Tournament at Lasalle on Saturday coronate a pair of local entries as gold medal winning teams, SDSSAA squads would also walk away with silver medals in hand as well.

The Lasalle Lancers senior boys will make a return trip to OFSAA, having claimed the consolation crown one year ago in Timmins. The city powerhouse stopped the Sudbury Secondary School North Stars 56-39 in the final, with Noah LaPierre (22), Dylan Terris (14) and Brady Bond (9) showing the way offensively for the winners.

The North Stars were led by a 21-point performance from Mukenge Muray, while Emeric Fitzpatrick finished with 20 to top the SSS charts in a 47-42 semi-final win over the Korah Colts.

Lasalle had advanced to the championship encounter by virtue of victories over both Sudbury Secondary in round one (55-43 - Terris-19, LaPierre-12; Muray-10) and the Chippewa Raiders (82-35 - LaPierre-21, Terris-15).

The Lancers will remain in the north for the provincial playdowns for a second straight year, travelling to the Sault for the OFSAA "AA" event from March 6th to the 8th.

The junior final on Saturday proved equally as Sudbury centric, as the St Benedict Bears defeated the Lockerby Vikings 59-51 in the gold medal game. Carter Natale enjoyed a tournament high 29-point effort, giving the sharp-shooter a total of 60 points in three games as he scored half of the Bears' fourth quarter points in an 18-11 run that provided the margin of victory.

Eric Huneault chipped in with another 15 points for the winners, while a more balanced Vikings' attack featured Mathieu Michel (16) and Aidan Luoma (15) at the top end.

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