Saints take down the Rams, claim the Gordon-Huntley Trophy.
The Wellington Saints came out to prove they were the team to beat this season, winning convincingly by 94-85.
The Saints lead all game and had a 12 point lead by halftime. Their star-studded squad proved too powerful for the Rams, with Saints Guard Corey Webster scoring 25 points to go along with 8 assists.
The Rams shot just 41% in the first half, compared to the Saints shooting a consistent 54%, and Rams Coach Mark Dickel says although they missed a lot of ‘wide open shots,’ he has confidence in his team going forward.
“I thought we did a pretty good job on them, and if we get that defensive effort every game, I’ll take it,” Dickel said.
Despite the loss, Rams Guard Marcus Alipate notably had a great night, scoring 19 points on a very efficient 63% shooting.
After a slow first half, Marcel Jones finished strong with 16 points, 8 rebounds and a game high 2 blocks.
Captain Marques Whippy was strong around the rim in the battle of the bigs, finishing with 10 points and 8 rebounds. With the leadership of Whippy, the Rams outscored the Saints with points in the paint, 44 to 36.
The return of Ethan Rusbatch after an ankle injury was welcomed by coach Mark Dickel, who said it’s great to have a player like Ethan back on the floor to balance out the side.
Dickel praised his team’s fight against a ‘big’ team like the Saints, and is confident in his team going forward.
Another notable performance for the Saints was Forward Tai Wesley, who scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds
Both teams were fighting to have their hands on the Gordon-Huntley trophy, named after Clyde Huntley, arguably one of the best to wear the Canterbury Rams jersey, and Tall Blacks legend, Gilbert Gordon.
Huntley & Gordon played for both the Canterbury Rams & Wellington Saints.
The Saints have now retained the trophy, which will be played for again when the teams next play on April 8th.
Looking forward, The Rams will be taking on the Nelson Giants tomorrow at the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson.
The Giants finished three places below the Rams in last years standings, and will hope they can take a win at home. Whippy and the Rams will look to capitalize on their strong defence from last night’s game, and bring a win back home before they play the Supercity Rangers on Friday the 31st of March at Cowles Stadium
(Scoring by quarters: Q1 18-28, Q2 53-41, Q3 75-65, Q4 94-85)
Article by George Berry