Capers claim victory over X-Men

Photo credit Vaughan Merchant, CBU Athletics
Photo credit Vaughan Merchant, CBU Athletics

SYDNEY, NS – In a game featuring playoff-like intensity, the Cape Breton University (CBU) Capers (7-8) defeated the rival STFX X-Men (9-6) 85-77 in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) basketball action on Friday night at Sullivan Fieldhouse.

The home team jumped to an early 14-7 edge, keyed by the interior scoring of veteran forward Tyson Cato (Hamilton, ON).

Sparked by a sequence of stellar play by first-year forward Shaquai Manswell (Ajax, ON), who corralled two offensive rebounds and dished out a pair of assists, the Capers made a 10-2 run and took their largest edge of the match-up – at 24-9.

Freshman guard Koat Thomas (Waterloo, ON) completed a traditional three-point play for the visitors which trimmed the CBU lead to 24-12 after the first quarter.

The X-Men, on the strength of a series of athletic plays by Thomas – on both the offensive and defensive end – along with the three-point shooting and drives to the hoop by all-star Dondre Reddick (Antigonish, NS), rallied and pulled within four points – at 32-28.

Down the stretch in the second quarter, ignited by a pair of hoops from downtown from Matt Pennell (St. John's, NL), along with an acrobatic lay-up, STFX tied the contest and took a seven-point advantage.

Highlighted by an alley-oop dunk from Stefan Anisko (Caldedonia, ON), off a feed from Shakael Pryce (Ajax, ON), the Capers closed the gap before halftime.

The X-Men led 47-44 heading to the locker room.

In the third quarter, the teams exchanged early baskets before the X-Men made a 9-0 run – which included a sensational drive to the hoop from Gatluak James (Windsor, ON) – to give the visitors a 58-49 edge.

Pryce drained an important three-pointer, which not only stopped the STFX spurt, but also spurred a 13-6 run by the Capers to finish the third quarter, with the X-Men leading 64-62.

In the fourth quarter, Anisko sank a shot from downtown as part of a 7-0 surge by the Capers that made it 76-70.

Reddick scored six unanswered points, including a three-pointer, to knot the contest at 76-76.

CBU scored the next five points, including a three-pointer from Anisko and offensive rebound and lay-in by Manswell to put them in the driver's seat.

Down the stretch, the Capers – especially Pryce – canned their free throws to seal the deal.

Pryce, the Chartwells player of the game for CBU, finished with a game-high 28 points, while adding seven assists, four rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots.

Cato added 25 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Anisko, off the bench, chipped in 13 points and six rebounds, while Manswell contributed seven points, five assists and a game-best 13 rebounds.

Reddick, the Chartwells player of the game for the X-Men, scored 26 points, while adding eight rebounds and three steals.

Off the bench, Thomas and Pennell contributed 16 and 12 points, respectively.

Bennett Grumbach added seven points and 13 rebounds.

The Capers will return to the court on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m., when they travel to Fredericton to face the UNB Reds, while the X-Men will host the Acadia Axemen on Wednesday, Jan. 31 in an 8 p.m. start in Antigonish.


Recap courtesy Corey LeBlanc