The Colonel Gray Colonels are eager to see how they fare against some of the top boys basketball teams in the region.
They get the chance starting today when the 16-team Colonel Gray Cup tips off at 4 p.m. in Charlottetown.
“A lot of the best teams in the Maritimes are here, so it’s definitely going to be like a test,” said Grade 12 guard Max Ramsay. “It’s going show us where we are and what we need to improve on.”
The six-foot-one shooting guard said the team has to concentrate on fundamentals to be successful this week.
“As long as we play good defence I think we can stay in any game,” he said.
Jeremy Thompson, a Grade 12 guard from Charlottetown, said turnovers were a problem last weekend in its first tournament of the season.
“When we get tired, we need to limit our mistakes and just stay locked in mentally,” he said.
The Colonels lost to Saint John, N.B., in the final of last weekend’s tournament at Moncton High School. The team won its first three games, including its opener against Saint John, before losing the title game. It was the Colonels fourth game in 24 hours.
Coach Tim Butler described his team as grinders looking for ways to win games at this point in the season.
“What we’d like to be is an athletic team that gets out and runs, but we’re not at that point yet,” he said. “We will be.”
The coaches preach hard, aggressive defence and while not flush with a stable of big bodies, it is effective playing man-to-man and doubling in the post as needed.
Colonel Gray has lost the past two Prince Edward School Athletic Association (PEISAA) finals to the Charlottetown Rural Raiders. The teams won’t meet until January in league play.
The Colonels want to defeat the Raiders this season, but know it won’t be easy.
“Our goal is just to get better as the year goes along,” Butler said. “The more competition we can get throughout the year the better we will be.”
The Raiders and Three Oaks Axemen are both in this week’s tournament, but all three Island teams are in different pools. They could meet in a playoff game.
The Colonels are comprised of six Grade 12s, three Grade 11s and four Grade 10s.
Thompson said staying calm and focused would be key for any of the younger players dealing with nerves.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a game of basketball and they know what to do.”
A look at the Colonel Gray boys basketball team’s roster:
A look at the schedule for the Colonel Gray Cup boys basketball tournament.
Pool A – Colonel Gray, Harrison Trimble, Cobequid Educational Centre and Lockview.
Pool B – C.P. Allen, Bernice MacNaughton, Leo Hayes and Horton.
Pool C – Charlottetown Rural, Moncton High, Fredericton High and Breton Education Centre.
Pool D – Three Oaks, Riverview, Sir John A. Macdonald and Sackville.
4 p.m. – Colonel Gray vs. Lockview at Colonel Gray
6 p.m. – Moncton High vs. Charlottetown Rural at Charlottetown Rural
6 p.m. – Three Oaks vs. Sackville at Queen Charlotte
6 p.m. – Cobequid vs. Trimble at Colonel Gray
8 p.m. – Fredericton vs. Breton at Colonel Gray
8 p.m. – Sir John A. Macdonald vs. Riverview at Queen Charlotte
8 p.m. – C.P. Allen vs. MacNaughton at Charlottetown Rural
8 p.m. – Leo Hayes vs. Horton at Birchwood
Colonel Gray vs. CEC at Colonel Gray
Horton vs. C.P. Allen at Birchwood
Sackville vs. Sir John A. MacDonald at Queen Charlotte
Charlottetown Rural vs. BEC at Charlottetown Rural
Lockview vs. Trimble at Colonel Gray
Leo Hayes vs. MacNaughton at Birchwood
TOSH vs. Riverview at Queen Charlotte
Moncton vs. Fredericton at Charlottetown Rural
Skills competitions at Colonel Gray
Trimble vs. Colonel Gray at Colonel Gray
CEC vs. Lockview at Birchwood
Charlottetown Rural vs. FHS at Charlottetown Rural
BEC vs. Moncton at TBD
C.P. Allen vs. Leo Hayes at Colonel Gray
MacNaughton vs. Horton at Birchwood
Riverview vs. Sackville at Charlottetown Rural
Sir John A. Macdonald vs. TOSH at TBD
First A vs. First B atColonel Gray
First C vs. First D at Charlottetown Rural
Fourth vs. Fourth at Queen Charlotte
Fourth vs. Fourth at Birchwood
Second vs. Second at Colonel Gray
Second vs. Second at Charlottetown Rural
Third vs. Third at Queen Charlotte
Third vs. Third at Birchwood
Championship game at Colonel Gray