ALMA – The NRHS Nighthawks varsity boys basketball squad, fuelled by a mid-week victory over NNEC, has brought home a second tournament banner in a week.
The Nighthawks were undefeated in four games at Springhill Senior Boys January Thaw tournament this past weekend, with Glen Cox contributing an average of 40 points per game.
They went undefeated in a King’s Edgehill tournament the previous weekend to pick up their first banner of the season.
Co-captain Liam Nielsen said team chemistry is a big factor in their recent success.
“I attribute our team’s recent winning streak to a great improvement in team chemistry and trust. Everyone has bought in to playing team basketball, and our compete level and intensity on defence has been phenomenal.”
He added the 79-77 win against North Nova two days before the tournament was a great boost.
“Myself and the two other seniors on the team hadn't beaten North Nova in our four years. I know Northumberland hasn’t beaten North Nova in at least 13 years, so to get that win was really surreal and very important for us.”
Cox had 42 points and a game-saving block against NNEC.
In tournament play, NRHS downed Tatamagouche 75-60, Cabot High School 119-95 and Springhill 117-69 before facing Cabot a second time in a hard-fought championship game.
It was the third game of the day for both teams but NRHS’s smothering defence allowed them to gradually pull ahead to win 93-79.
The high-scoring Cox was named tournament MVP while player of the game awards went to Mitch MacGillivray, Rhys Stevenson, Marcus MacLeod and Tom MacKenzie. Stevenson tallied a double-double in points and rebounds.
Coach Nick Irvine, who joined Joey Desmond and Tony Wright on the NRHS bench early in the season, said the coaches are delighted with the improved play of late.
“Teamwork, hard defence and lots of effort and heart win games. When you trust the brother beside you it makes it easy,” he said.
Desmond also commended the team for its spirit and steady effort.