The Central Cyclones senior boys basketball team attended another prestigious tournament over the weekend and again put together a strong showing.
The Cyclones captured the consolation side title at the Harry Ainlay Tri-Provincial Tournament in Edmonton this past weekend, beating Edmonton Christian Academy, 88-72, in the consolation final.
Central head coach Ryan Boughen said it was a gutsy weekend for the Cyclones.
"We had a bit of a tough go on our first game, we had an injury in warmups and we're dealing with an injury that we had in league play so that gave us a bit of a struggle, but as a team, we really responded well in our second game and played even better in our third game," said Boughen.
Central opened the tournament with a 98-66 loss to the hosts on Friday to drop onto the consolation side of the bracket. The Cyclones didn't allow that to get them down and bounced back with a 90-79 win over Winnipeg Oak Park in their second game.
The Cyclones then carried that momentum into a showdown with Edmonton Christian Academy, the top-ranked 4A team in Alberta, and pulled off the big win.
Harry Ainlay went on to win the tournament, beating B.C.'s Duchess Park, 74-44, in the final.
Boughen said that going up against the high-end competition that the Cyclones have seen this season has really helped them improve.
"It's really proving to be beneficial for us," he said. "When we played in the LeBoldus Tournament, we played [Saskatoon Holy Cross] and that's some pretty high-level basketball and this basketball was a step up.
"The whole goal of this weekend was to find out what are the things that we need to do better and we certainly achieved that, but we were really happy with the results that we had and we probably never imagined we'd be that successful there."
Central senior guard Hardill Khubber put together a stellar game in the consolation final, leading the Cyclones with 30 points. He ended up being named to the tournament all-star team.
The Cyclones played an outstanding game defensively against Edmonton Christian Academy as well, forcing 20 steals and pulling in 27 defensive rebounds.
"We had to play a team that's quite a bit bigger than us -- a guy inside that's six-foot-six and perimeter guys that six-foot-two, six-foot-three -- so we had to battle hard to keep the ball out of paint and we did a really nice job of that and the kids just played really well together," said Boughen.
The Cyclones are 7-0 in the Moose Jaw High School Senior Boys Basketball League. They will finish off the regular season with a showdown against the Rockets in Assiniboia on Thursday.