A Cape Breton native has coached Fort McMurray’s Holy Trinity Knights boys basketball team to a big tournament win in his home province.
Adam Bank had 25 points and Mitchell Garland added 23 to lift the Knights to a 72-51 victory – clinching their title as the 2018 Coal Bowl Champions.
Head Coach Aaron Barrington, who played in the tournament back in 2002, tells Mix News he’s extremely proud of the effort his boys put forward.
“We didn’t really know what to expect,” Barrington said. “We knew we could play with anybody but to win such a large tournament, it’s hard to expect that. We were confident in our chances but to see it actually come true is pretty amazing.”
Barrington notes the boys’ nerves were on display in the first half but they managed to keep it together and pull away strong in the second.
“I think they were kind of letting the moment get to them a bit and we had a good talk at half-time. They came out and put it on the other team in the second half and we started to play our brand of basketball and we got the outcome we were looking for.”
The Knights went unbeaten in tournament play – at times, flexing their dominance over some of the national competition.
Barrington says 16 years after playing in the tournament himself, he was overwhelmed by the support he received all the way from Fort McMurray to Cape Breton.
“Whether it was online watching the live feeds or actually at the games, I had so many messages after each one of our games just cheering us on. We felt so much support and it was really such a cool experience.”
As for the players, Bank took home First Team-All Star honours, while Garland came away with Coal Bowl MVP.
Bank says once the team gets going full throttle, they are very hard to stop.
“We played really good,” Bank said. “There was a bunch of competition and maybe we could’ve played better as a team but we ended up doing pretty well. We came for the championship and we won. It shows we can handle the pressure normally.”
The Knights now shift their focus to the city championship with hopes they can punch their ticket into provincials.