The Chandler Classics, made up of Grade 7 boys from E.B. Chandler, won the Nova Scotia Bantam Boy's Division 5 basketball championship on the weekend.
AMHERST – The Amherst Chandler Grade 7 Classics saved their best game for last defeating the South Shore Spartans 59-33 to win the Basketball Nova Scotia Bantam Boy’s Division 5 Championship on Sunday in Windsor.
The Classics went unbeaten in the tournament, including a thrilling 57-54 win over the Cole Harbour Rockets that propelled them into the final.
In that game, the action was back and forth until the Classics made a huge play in the last 15 seconds on a throw-in to secure the win.
“At the beginning of the season we were interviewed for the paper and our goal was to get to provincials,” Rick McKenny said. “We are a small team, but we’re fast. We sort of had a nickname as the fruit flies because we were fast, in everyone’s face and hard to catch. That’s actually how we won provincials.”
The coaches said the other teams were much bigger than the Classics and the team trailed in a lot of games.
“We tired them out with in-your-face defence by pressing them constantly until they couldn’t take it anymore,” he said. “That’s when we scored baskets to win the game.”
Amherst opened with a 51-33 win over South Shore and followed it up with a big fourth quarter rally to post a 69-35 win over the St. Margaret’s Bay Slam
In that game, the Classics were losing after three quarters, but outscored the Slam 37-1 in the fourth to pull away.
Their other win was a 69-20 decision over the Dartmouth Lakers.
Coach Rachna Minocha credited the local basketball fraternity for helping them out during the season.
“We have such a great basketball community where everyone helps everyone else out,” she said. “From Thomas Skabar of the ARHS Vikings, to Peter Nixon, the EBC athletics director, Matt Gamblin and April Scott from Mount Allison, to Kevin Devine and Charlie Chambers so many helped us to develop the skill and help our team over the year.”
She said no one knew how intense provincials were and how important winning every game was to get to the final.
“It was like running up a 10-kilometre hill. The intensity each player produced to win was outstanding to say the least,” she said.