It’s the weekend they recognize Pictou County’s “Mr. Basketball” at North Nova Education Centre.
The annual Anse MacDonald Invitational boys basketball tournament will start Friday at NNEC, with the Gryphons competing in Pool A against the NRHS Nighthawks and Avon View.
NNEC and Northumberland Regional High School will tip off at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, to open the tournament.
Teams in Pool B are Halifax West, Central Kings and Park View.
The Gryphons are a young team, trying to get better.
“We started off rocky, playing some of the best teams in the province,” said Chris Gillin, adding that the team has started showing signs of improvement.
“We run – we push the ball up and down the floor,” Gillin said when asked about NNEC’s style of play, although he did say that the Gryphons have to get better at protecting the basketball: in short, cut down on the turnovers. After labour unrest between the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the provincial government wiped out almost all of the high school basketball season a year ago, Gillin is just glad to be on the court in his senior year of high school.
“It’s a great feeling, we missed almost all of last year,” he said.
One of only three Grade 12s on the roster – the Gryphons have two Grade 11 students – Chad Russell embraces the leadership role.
“It’s a good culture here,” said Russell, a co-captain along with Gillin. “We play hard, we’re competitive every game.
“Everyone is eager to get better,” he said of the younger players. “They know their time is gonna come, so they need to prepare.”
2 p.m.: NRHS vs. NNEC
4 p.m.: Central Kings vs. Halifax West
6 p.m.: Avon View vs. NNEC
8 p.m.: Park View vs. Central Kings
9 a.m.: Avon View vs. NRHS
11 a.m.: Halifax West vs. Park View
1 p.m.: 3rd Pool A vs. 3rd Pool B
3 p.m.: 2nd Pool A vs. 2nd Pool B
5 p.m.: 1st Pool A vs. 1st Pool B
NNEC GRYPHONS ROSTER: