By Dale Woodard
Southern Alberta Newspapers
In an all-southern Alberta showdown, the Cardston Cougars defeated the LCI Rams 92-80 to capture this year’s Raymond Sugar Bowl boys high school basketball championship recently at Raymond High School. The Sugar Bowl was the Cougars third tournament win in December, having also won their own tournament, as well as Magrath’s recently.
Cardston’s Taylor Barfuss earned the tournament’s most valuable player honour to go along with this year’s banner. The Cougars earned their spot in the gold medal game thanks to a 93-62 win over the Magrath Zeniths, as Barfuss led the way with 35 points. Garrett Stock replied with 16 points for Magrath.
In the other semifinal, the Rams got past the host Raymond Comets 99-94. The Rams led by 10 late, but the Comets pulled to within one with just over minute to go before. However, LCI was able to hold off the late surge and advance to the final.
Tanner French and Parks Hirsche paced LCI with 32 and 20 points, respectively. Shae Gibb had a 39-point outing for the Comets and Boston Harker added 20. The Comets came away with the bronze medal thanks to a 97-69 win over the Zeniths in the third-place game, as Raymond opened a 48-34 lead at the half.
Gibb put up 28 points for the Comets. Jaxon West scored 21 and Jeter Heggie had 17. Chayse Harris led Magrath with 22 points and Cody Tollestrup added 11. The Medicine Hat Mohawks won the consolation side with a win over the Edmonton Strathcona Lords. The Mohawks beat the Edmonton Ross Sheppard T-Birds 91-85 in the consolation semifinal, as Fred Kabore scored 24 points for Medicine Hat and Bailey Gosse drained 19.
Stiane Gleddie led the T-Birds with 17 points and Almad Ghebre scored 15. The Lords edged Cochrane 101-100 in a double overtime affair in the other semifinal, as Nyasha Mubayima had 26 points for Strathcona and teammate Matt Stanley added 18.
Logan Higginson and Griffin Sharkey led Cochrane with 20 and 18 points, respectively.
In a late game, the Comets topped Cochrane 85-75, as Gibb put up 22 points, Heggie had 20 and Brady Baines chipped in with 17. Higginson scored 20 points for Cochrane and Sharkey had 18.