The St. Mary’s Bay Academy Stingrays powered their way to the Division 3 provincial basketball championships with a 94-43 victory over the New Germany Saints in Western Region semi-final hoop action in Shelburne on Friday night, Feb. 17.
Mackenzie Ford had a huge game for the Stingrays, draining a season high 46 points to lead his team over the Saints in a game that decided who advanced to the provincial championships.
SMBA doubled up on New Germany for a 20-10 first quarter lead and although the Saints played a closer second quarter they trailed 39-27 at the half.
The Saints were no match for their opponents in the second half as SMBA switched up their game plan to foil the Saints’ defence.
The Stingrays stretched their lead shutting down the Saints’ offence to take the third quarter 27-8 and then put the game away with a 28-8 fourth quarter performance.
“Mackenzie Ford was a power house tonight and New Germany was unable to stop him especially in the second half when he scored 31 points,” said coach Brad Bright.
Bright said he was proud of his team as he watched them play with determination and skill for a full 40 minutes.
“This was the game of the season for the Stingrays,” said Bright. “I have never seen the boys so focused. They did what I asked of them and left everything on the court.”
Along with Ford’s double digit scoring and 18 rebounds, four other Stingrays put up double digits. Layton Hill had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Shayne Clements finished with 14 and Tyrel Comeau added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Brandon Doucette pulled down 10 boards.
The win put the Stingrays in the championship game against the Shelburne Rebels but they lost to the host team 86-65.
The second place finish advances the Stingrays to the provincial championship that will be held in Shelburne March 1 – 3.
In the girls’ Division 3 regional playoffs, the Lady Mariners lost their opening game to Kings-Edgehill on Friday, Feb. 17 in New Germany.
Digby advanced to the provincial qualifiers to be held Feb. 24 and 25 in Cape Breton with a 51-43 third place finish over the Bridgetown Trojans.