Stratford Central Rams were just too big and too strong, and had too many offensive weapons for the smaller F.E. Madill Mustangs from Wingham.
Eight three-pointers, including six in the first half, sparked Rams to a rather one-sided 56-40 victory over the Mustangs in the Huron-Perth Senior boys basketball championship game last Wednesday afternoon.
In front of a packed gym at Central, Rams’ hot early shooting left little doubt who would emerge the winner.
“We’ve always known we’ve had a good group of shooters; it’s one of our strengths,” said guard Ben Stern, who quarterbacked the Central offence and contributed 13 points.
“This is the most well-prepared we’ve ever been for a game. Madill team is a great team. Our goal was to try and drive inside and then dish (the ball) out for some threes.
“We have great three-point shooters and it all worked out really well today.”
Ben McConkey hit two early threes as Rams charged out to a quick 13-4 lead. They led 20-11 at the end of the first period, and it was surprising that Mustangs were even that close.
Central continued to dominate in the second half, building a 33-19 lead by the half-time break.
Rams extended their lead to 20 points by the end of the third quarter, carrying an insurmountable 44-24 advantage into the final eight minutes.
After Madill closed the gap to 45-31 early in the fourth quarter, McConkey squashed any comeback attempt by hitting another three.
The veteran McConkey did everything for Central, scoring 17 points, blocking shots and playing all-round solid defence. Sam Stern added nine points and Andrew Horne eight more as Rams spread the ball around nicely.
“It all starts with defence on our team,” Central coach Mark Cassone said. “We’re a big team with a lot of big, tall guys and we played smart defence.
“And we shot the ball well today. We played as a team, and this team has a lot of guys who don’t like losing. It’s easy coaching guys like that.”
Robbie Bramhill, who had a strong game, supplied most of the Mustangs’ offence with a game-high 18 points. Shifty guard Josh Bloemberg contributed seven and several nice assists.
Warriors win Junior final
In the Junior boys H-P final at St. Mikes last Wednesday, the Warriors edged Northwestern Huskies 40-39.
Owen Brooks had 10 points for Warriors, with Dylan Bohnert adding nine. Nolan Grasby contributed a big three-pointer.
Sam Knechtel had a game-high 16 points for Huskies, with teammate Noah Redfern chipping in 11.
St. Mikes Juniors and Central Seniors—who both went 12-0 in conference play this season--advanced to the WOSSAA ‘AA’ tournament at Central Elgin in St. Thomas on Monday. WOSSAA was originally scheduled for last Friday, but it was postponed due to inclement weather.
“We put all our efforts into this year,” Ben Stern added. “We wanted to win Huron-Perth, but our goal is WOSSAA and to get to OFSAA. That’s our main goal.”