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Eagles edge Sounders for tourney title

For the second time in a week, the Chatelech Eagles senior boys' basketball team had all the right answers against the Howe Sound Sounders.

For the second time in a week, the Chatelech Eagles senior boys' basketball team had all the right answers against the Howe Sound Sounders.

On Saturday night, Chat upended the Sounders 82-71 to claim the Chat senior boys' Open Waters tournament title.

Chat went 3-0 at the tournament to run its current winning streak to seven games. Howe Sound compiled a record of 2-1 at the eight-team tournament.

The championship final lacked intensity in the first half as both teams seemed to be just going through the motions. Chat led 40-28 at half-time and increased that lead to 20 with just under five minutes to go.

But that's when things started to get interesting.

The Sounders used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 12 with four and a half minutes to play. Chat couldn't handle the Sounders' pressure defense and turned over the ball several times down the stretch.

The Sounders kept pecking away at the lead and with just under two minutes to play, Chat was up only 72-68.

Chat coach Bruce Haynes called a time out to calm his troops down. It seemed to work, as Chat came out of the time out with a little more focus.

Howe Sound was forced to foul to try to keep time on the clock and cut into the Eagles' lead. To their credit, Chat was masterful at the foul line as Devon Haynes, Aaron deJong and Dallas Craigan all converted foul shots down the stretch.

The Sounders heaved up a few desperation three-point attempts that didn't fall and Chat hung on for the 11-point win.

Chat was led by a game high 34 points from deJong. Craigan chipped in with 17, while Matt Skei poured in 13. DeJong was named tournament MVP for Chat.

J.R. Parke led Howe Sound with 26 points, Scott Yang chipped in with 14 and Andre Zukerman added 12 points. Zukerman was named tournament MVP for Howe Sound.

Skei and deJong were both a force under the boards all night long as they pulled down seemingly every rebound during the contest.

After the game, Haynes said he was thrilled with his team's effort.

"We knew if we could play tight defense we were going to win," Haynes said. "They started doubling down to try and contain Aaron and Matt, but they just didn't have an answer. When they changed their defense, we had to change. I think our guys responded very well and played an excellent game.

"It's nice to keep the winning streak going and it's great to win our own tournament."

Sounder's coach Ron Roberts was disappointed with the loss but not by the effort of his team.

"We had a short bench and we had no answer for deJong - that kid is a terrific player," Roberts said. "Our guys left everything they had on the floor. Chat played a strong game and deserved to win."

Chat advanced to the championship game with a 85-33 win over the Pemberton Red Devils and a thrilling 84-71 win over the Westview Wildcats from Maple Ridge. Both games were played on Friday.

Craigan finished with 14 points, while Devon Haynes and Dwight Joe each had 11 points in the win over Pemberton. DeJong and Skei led the Eagles in the win over Westview with 28 and 20 points respectively.

The Sounders road to the tournament final started with a 71-70 win over the John Oliver Jokers followed by a 83-65 win over the Elphinstone Cougars.

Roddy Campbell had 21 points for Elphi in the loss to Howe Sound, while Keegan Sluis added 19 points.

Elphi finished sixth at the tournament after dropping a 61-58 overtime game to Westview on Saturday in the fifth place game.Sluis had 19 points, while Campbell chipped in with 16.

The Cougars started the tournament with a 87-69 win over the Rockridge Ravens on Friday afternoon.

Sluis again led all scorers with 25 points. Corey Winters had 15, and Campbell and Will Gye each had 14. Campbell was named tournament MVP for the Cougars.

The Jokers finished in third spot after beating Pemberton 70-44 in the third place game, while Rockridge finished in seventh spot after beating the Maxwell Eagles 72-25 in the seventh place game.

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