Mitchell Vosper assured KTW he remained perfectly calm while the Westsyde Whundas nearly ruined his Friday night at the TCC.
Vosper was resting on the bench for much of the second half, with 12 points under his belt and his Sa-Hali Sabres seemingly in cruise control in the senior boys' Fulton Cup final.
The Sabres’ 15-point lead in the third quarter shrunk to a four-point lead in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to heroics from Devin Caldwell, a tough basket willed in by Jax Anderson and clutch threes courtesy Reed Watson and Dylan Barrett, a Westsyde quartet not ready to roll over.
“I was calm the whole time,” Vosper said.
Sa-Hali appeared to be unravelling when it was called for travelling on consecutive possessions, its lead dwindling while Westsyde’s support among the 500 or so in the bleachers became more vocal.
“Not worried at all,” Vosper said.
Only Vosper knows if that is the truth. Those Sa-Hali fans who were concerned need not have been.
Ben Anderson, who recorded a team-high 19 points for the Sabres, was fouled while shooting from beyond the arc. He made all three foul shots.
Kaito Futemma converted on a three-point play to put Sa-Hali back in control.
The Sabres ran away to win 82-63.
“It feels great,” said Harjun Serown, who notched seven points and was named MVP of the senior boys’ tournament.
“This is my fourth year of basketball and the first time we’ve been able to win this tournament. It’s nice.”
The Whundas were led on the scoresheet by Caldwell, who had a team-high 17 points, Barrett, who tallied 16 points, and Watson, who finished with 14 points.
Westsyde, a AA school, was without key starters Trey Dergousoff, Tyrelle Chadwick and Nolan Austin, all sidelined with injuries.
“I brought up some juniors,” said Whundas’ head coach Sean Garvey, always animated in the bench area. “They played their hearts out.
“We got within four and ran out of gas."
The AAA Sabres were missing a pair of key cogs in Eric Jumaga and Jaydian Smith, both of whom are away on vacation with family.
“But we had guys out there who had played in big games,” Sabres’ head coach Dean Magierowski said. “We are able to withstand heat from teams and kind of bounce back.”
Tanner Barclay bagged 13 points, Carson Dumais netted 11 points and Josh Glover had 10 points for the Sabres, who take over from the South Kamloops Titans as Fulton Cup title holders in the senior boys’ division.
“I trust my teammates,”Vosper said. “We did what we had to do.”
South Kam earned a 43-32 victory over Westsyde in the junior boys' final.
Joshua Jerstad of the Titans was named MVP of the junior boys' tournament.