P.E.I. defeated Newfoundland and Labrador 76-65 to finish with a 3-2 record, good for ninth, in Winnipeg.
Yousef Sefau, a guard from Charlottetown, said Friday’s victory was “huge.”
“Looking back in the future, I will be proud to know that I went to Canada Games with my brothers, all of them, and to know we went out in a win,” he said. “It’s a definitely a feeling I’ll never forget – a memory that will stick with me forever.”
Head coach Reagh Vidito said it was important for the team to end the tournament with a win, ensuring a good final memory from the Canada Games court.
“When they’re sitting on a rocking chair sometime (down the road) they can look back and talk about a 3-2 record,” said Vidito, who coached some of the athletes since Grade 1 and 2.
P.E.I. led 20-11 after the first quarter, 37-26 at the half and 60-45 heading to the fourth.
Zack Wall had a game-high 25 points while John Alex Vos chipped in 13 and Sefau 10.
Vidito said Wall stepped up for the team on Friday.
“We really needed him to get to the rim and challenge their guys,” he said. “Zach is always kind of that x-factor and today he really stepped up and provided what we needed.”
The P.E.I. women’s basketball team cheered for the men’s squad from behind the bench, waiving the provincial flag and holding signs of support.
“Canada Games is a different beast,” Vidito said. “You’re used to playing games at national championship where it is your parents and a couple of supporters.
“But to have other athletes here and especially the girls, a lot of these guys know them very well, it was important for our morale.”
Sefau said Canada Games are about the memories made and it appears Team P.E.I. made many as they played their games and supported other Island squads at different venues.
“Straight up, we just have fun all the time,” he said. “We come here for basketball, but we come for each other, we have fun and enjoy each other’s presence.”