This weekend was a good example of the progress that the Central Cyclones have made this season.
After losing by six points earlier this season to the Saskatoon Walter Murray Marauders, the Cyclones avenged that loss with a 92-58 win in the final of the Moose Jaw Senior Boys Basketball Invitational on Saturday at Peacock Collegiate.
"We were really happy with the way we played, we shot the ball really well, that always helps and we played really good defence -- at the end of the first quarter, they only had six points -- so that was a couple of big markers for us," said Central coach Ryan Boughen.
Cyclones senior Hardill Khubber had a team-high 22 points in the win, including four three-pointers, while Kyle Boughen hit five threes and finished with 17 points. Jaxson Brownell had 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Crozier Holmes also pulled down 10 boards.
"Walter Murray has a big kid who played on the provincial team and both Jaxson and Crozier did a great job on him," said Boughen.
"We shot 52-percent from behind the arc, our goal is to shoot 35-percent, so you've got to be happy when you shoot the ball that well."
Central posted a perfect 4-0 record to capture their second straight Moose Jaw Invitational title.
Boughen said they faced some good competition over the course of the weekend, "Weyburn is going to be a top-four team in our classification, so it was nice to play them and our game with them was really close. Right now, Walter Murray is number-three in Saskatoon, so it gives us an indication of where we're at with those guys," he said.
The Vanier Vikings finished second in Pool A after posting a 1-1 record in the round robin. They then lost 81-77 to North Battleford John Paul II in their opening playoff game before falling 86-82 in a tight game against the Weyburn Eagles on Saturday.
Vanier senior Riley Follensbee said while disappointed in their final record, the Vikings are pleased with how they battled all weekend.
"We had a good battle against John Paul, same with Weyburn, but every team is going to get better from here on out and so do we," said Follensbee.
The Vikings held a 20-point lead early in Saturday's game against Weyburn, but they allowed the Eagles to close the gap before halftime and the two sides went back-and-forth the rest of the way.
"We've got to bear down on defence a little bit better, but it just shows how close that 4A category is," said Follensbee.
The Peacock Toilers finished third in Pool B after finishing a 1-2 record. Peacock won 70-47 over the Melfort Comets, but lost 74-44 to Walter Murray and 82-73 to the Yorkton Raiders.
In the playoff round, Peacock lost a game in the final seconds to the Estevan Elecs, losing 78-74.
"Our youth showed through, poor passes, not squaring up, not running to the rim, not rolling to the rim off screens, a lot of things that the kids are missing in the heat of the battle, experience takes care of that and we're pretty young, so we're still working at it," said Peacock coach Levi Dombowsky.
The Toilers feature two grade nines and four grade 10s on this year's roster and Dombowsky said this weekend was a learning experience and one that they will look to build off, "There's a lot of growth that we're seeing and a lot more that we could see for sure," he said.
The Moose Jaw Senior Basketball League returns to the court on Tuesday with the Peacock Toilers hosting the Vanier Vikings and Spirits at 6:20 and 8 p.m. The Central Cyclones entertain the Assiniboia Rockets at 5:50 and 7:30 p.m.