The Axemen outscored the Wolverines 28-8 to turn a nine-point game (21-12) after one quarter into a 29-point spread (49-20) at halftime en route to an 83-34 victory.
It was the opening round-robin game of the 20th annual Three Oaks Senior High School Christmas Classic senior AAA boys basketball tournament for both teams.
“We figured things out as the game went on,” assessed Axemen head coach Faro Halupa. “It didn’t start out like we had hoped, but once we realized we should pick up our intensity level and our level of play, the game turned in the second quarter pretty fast in our favour.”
Halupa said the Axemen did not dictate the play in the first quarter, but forced Westisle into playing a faster game in the second quarter.
“We were walking back on defence, we were moving the ball as slow as possible on offence (in the first quarter),” said Halupa. “We just had to find a way to get back to the way we play as opposed to letting the other team dictate the flow of the game.”
In other tournament games Thursday, the Prince Andrew Panthers from Halifax defeated the Bluefield Bobcats 82-58, and the Charlottetown Rural Raiders got by the Colonel Gray Colonels 62-56.
Play resumes this morning, with the two semifinals on Saturday at 10 a.m., and the final at 3:15 p.m.
Axemen 83 Wolverines 34
At the Three Oaks gymnasium, Grade 12 guard Colin Arsenault scored 19 points to lead the Axemen, who received a 14-point effort from Luke Thompson and 11 from Adam Gallant.
“We figured things out as the game went on. It didn’t start out like we had hoped, but once we realized we should pick up our intensity level and our level of play, the game turned in the second quarter pretty fast in our favour.” - Axemen head coach Faro Halupa
“Colin had a real good first half,” commented Halupa. “When everyone else was struggling, Colin actually was the one holding us in that game in the first quarter.
“He (Arsenault) was making shots, he was rebounding, he was getting to the basket and was doing all the things he generally does. He’s a scorer for us, and we rely on him to score in every game we play.”
Kenan Wilkie poured in 19 points to lead the Wolverines on offence. Cory Buchanan and Matt Gallant each chipped in with four points.
The players of the game were Wilkie and Ty Wright (Three Oaks).
Panthers 82 Bobcats 58
At the Three Oaks gymnasium, the Panthers jumped out to a 45-20 lead at the half.
Carvell Clayton counted a game-high 22 points to lead Prince Andrew while Dakeye Downey and Tauras Smith each had 11.
Matt Dawson (20), Zack Marsh (14) and Kurtis Kemp (10) keyed Bluefield’s attack.
The players of the game were Downey and Dawson.
Raiders 62 Colonels 56
At the Charlottetown Rural gymnasium, Stevie Seviour (17), Brayden White (15) and Jack MacAulay (12) sparked Rural offensively.
Gray’s top offensive performers were Jeremy Thompson (17), Mike MacKenzie (15) and Jeff Morrison (8).
Gray was in front 32-30 at halftime.
The players of the game were White and Morrison.