Court two of the basketball championships at the Canada Summer Games taking place this week in Summerside, PEI, has been converted from a hockey rink. But on Sunday it was nearly impossible to imagine ice ever existing in the place.
While temperatures soared into the 30s outside on Sunday, the secondary court at Credit Union Place was, simply put, a sauna.
Although the ensuing perspiration caused a few slipped-grips on the ball for Yukon’s boys basketball team, that played only a small factor as Yukon began the Games with a 93-31 loss to Team Alberta.
“Maybe the score wasn’t indicative of how I thought we’d play, but I thought we played better in spurts today,” said Yukon head coach Tim Brady. “I thought we finished the third and fourth quarter in a positive way. I thought we played hard and were more effective in some of our attacks.
“We played hard the whole game.”
While the temperature became less unbearable on Tuesday, the results were the same for Yukon, which lost 86-35.
“I think Nova Scotia has a really good chance at medalling here,” said Brady.
“We had moments where we struggled, but I think all in all we did a better job boxing out and rebounding – we were just about equal with them in rebounds.”
In their opener, Yukon hung reasonably close to Alberta in the first quarter, finishing it down by just 10, but the largest divide was created in the third period with Alberta going on a 19-run to go up 73-22.
“We turned the ball over – we threw the ball to them actually,” said Brady. “They’re so big, we had a hard time throwing over them. We turned over the ball too many times to be in a competitive situation and gave them too many chances to score, and score they did.”
Alberta and Yukon met just a couple weeks ago at the Manitoba Invitational Tournament held at the University of Winnipeg; this resulted in the same outcome. However, Yukon’s Logan Grey, who led the team with 13 points on Sunday, feels the game was a positive experience.
“I think we gave it our all pretty much the whole time,” said Gray. “We had fun and I think we learned to beat their press, like take it in the inside more.”
Wednesday morning the Yukon boys – getting a break from the hotbox venue – faced PEI on Credit Union Place’s main court. However, air-conditioning failed to give Yukon the advantage, with the hometown winning 85-65. Check Friday’s Yukon News for the full story.
“All of our guys – I admire their courage and effort,” said Brady.
“It’s great to win, but to keep on going: that’s a win.”
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