Knight stands on guard after injury
Basketball: HTA wins Red Deer tourney despite loss of key guard
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 10:13 am
A big win, but it might be a bigger loss.
The Holy Trinity Academy Knights won the Red Deer Catholic Classic on Saturday, but they lost point guard Eli McKitrick for four weeks with a broken arm in the process.
“We won but unfortunately we lost Eli for four weeks — he’s already in a cast,” said Knights head coach Sam Aiello. “Matt Scharien did a great job. They are both point guards and one wasn’t better than the other, but it is great to have both of them.”
Scharien rode in like a true knight in shining armour as he helped lead the Knights to an 80-38 blowout win in the tournament final against Edmonton’s St. Joseph Saints.
“He just did a good job of leading the offence — we needed it because we have a Grade 10 backup, Riley Thorn, he has a wrist injury,” Aiello said. “We needed Matty to step up and he did.”
Scharien had a pretty good page helping him out in six-foot-three forward Kessler Bishop, who finished with a game-high 33 points.
“Kessler was the tournament MVP,” Aiello said. “He was steady all weekend and he just played really hard.”
Scharien pumped in 18 points including canning four threes in the tournament final.
The Knights kicked off the tournament by downing another St. Joe’s — this time from Grande Prairie.
“That game was close most of the way but we were able to pull away in the fourth and ended up winning 77-62,” Aiello said. “They have a nice team. That was our toughest game, it probably should have been the final.”
HTA led 34-28 at the half and were able to expand the lead to 62-44 by the end of the third. Bishop led the way with 19 points, while a healthy McKitrick finished with 15 including three bombs from beyond the arc.
The Knights met the co-host Notre Dame Cougars in front of a hostile home crowd in the semi.
“The kids responded well — we hit shots rights from the beginning of the game,” Aiello said. “We never really looked back.”
Carson McKenzie was the big Knight with 17 points.
The Knights also got of to a good start in defending their Foothills Athletic Council crown.
They opened the FAC season by downing the feisty Notre Dame Collegiate T’Wolves 79-49 on Dec. 6.
HTA improved to 2-0 by getting past the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans 94-26 on Monday night.
The Spartans opened their season with a 70-56 victory over the Oilfields Drillers Dec. 6 at STS.
The Knights travel to Oilfields on Dec. 13, while STS will host Holy Cross Collegiate from Strathmore.