P.E.I. knocks off Alberta in men's hoops

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It’s been a while since a Prince Edward Island basketball team had as big a victory as it did Monday at the Canada Games.

P.E.I. erased a five-point deficit after three quarters to defeat Alberta 67-57 in an electric gym in Sherbrooke, Que.

“It was crazy,” said Kenan Wilkie, a 17-year-old from Alberton. “Being able to win one, especially against a team from out west, was really big.”

The news quickly spread back home and coach Jared Cheverie’s phone lit up as family, friends and colleagues in the basketball world shared their excitement for the Island’s program.

“It’s fantastic for us,” Cheverie said. “It’s a great reward for all the hard work and sacrifices (the team has) made.”

The women’s volleyball and soccer teams were on hand to cheer on the Island and show their provincial pride.

As the final buzzer sounded the players rushed off the bench to celebrate the victory. Before leaving the court, the players showed their appreciation for the fans’ support.

Cheverie said the boys were “cool, calm and collected” on the way to the gym.

“They were mentally strong,” he said.

The basketball team has been close to the larger provinces in other competitions, but couldn’t find a way to close out the games.

“We weren’t nervous,” said Wilkie, who had 14 points and seven rebounds. “We knew we could beat Alberta. We had the confidence and we were ready for them.”

Charlottetown's Logan MacDonald was the top scorer with 18 points.

Stratford's Noah Giddings had eight points and 11 boards while Summerside's Patrick Murray added eight points.

Saren Westrop was the lone Albertan to score double digits. He had 27 points.

While determining how big Monday’s win was hard to do, some suggest the last win of that magnitude at the Canada Games may go back to the early 1990s.

Cheverie said the program has really grown during the past few years. In 2007 there were 17 players try out for the under-17 team while 40 players competed for the 12 Canada Games’ roster spots.

“Hopefully the buzz will continue,” he said.

P.E.I. (1-1) plays New Brunswick (1-1) this morning at 11:45 a.m. Atlantic. New Brunswick coughed up a 20-point lead in the first half in a 79-74 loss to Manitoba on Monday.

“Our confidence is very high right now,” Wilkie said. “We’re not nervous, we’re ready.”

New Brunswick defeated Alberta 57-54 on Sunday.

Organizations: Canada Games

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Sherbrooke, Que Alberton New Brunswick Charlottetown Manitoba

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Recent comments

  • pei pride
    August 06, 2013 - 10:57

    mike, clearly you have never participated or been a part of the canada games. athletes are training for 4 years for theses games and when you look at a power house province such as alberta who has all the funding and support a young athlete could ask for and a population of 3.6 million and then you compare it with the populations of PEI which is just under 150,000 people, you can see why it might be a big deal when they pull of a win of that magnitude.

  • rob
    August 06, 2013 - 09:41

    clearly you have never rep'd PEI Mike... Huge congrats to the team. Within 10 years the PEI soccer, basketball, and baseball have been playing with and beating much bigger provinces, which could never have been said before that. Major improvement, especially for bball, the program is still so new, this is a huge result. Congrats!

  • Mike
    August 06, 2013 - 03:13

    Did they win a medal or just one game and if only a game they why all the fuss? For gods sake this is great deal of fuss for winning a single game against Alberta.

    • Former Player
      August 06, 2013 - 10:22

      A bunch of high school boys put in years of hard work, and they may have just won the biggest game of their lives. If you don't have anything positive to say then don't comment.