The weather continued to impact the schedule on the final day of the 2023 Mariner Riverboat Classic forcing the cancellation of the final girls game to allow teams to return home ahead of forecasted freezing rain. As a result, the focus for day #3 was the playoffs for the men’s bracket.
Despite the inclement weather throughout the tournament, the Rothesay High Red Hawks drew a large, vocal crowd each game that was more than ready to cheer for the boys in red & blue. The boy’s championship final gave them plenty to celebrate.
The Red Hawks smothered the Leo Hayes Lions from the opening tip, holding the Fredericton north-side crew to a single field goal in the first quarter while opening up a 22-7 lead after 10 minutes. The Lions were able to settle down in the 2nd and 3rd quarter but Rothesay still won those segments 19-15 and 15-13. Rothesay finished the game with another strong quarter, winning the 4th 15-9 for the 73-46 victory.
Rothesay opened the tournament with a thrilling, come-from-behind 73-70 victory over Fredericton High Black Kats. They then secured their place in the finals with a hard fought battle with the Colonel Gray Colonels, winning 75-66.
This is the first Riverboat Classic championship for Rothesay High boys, and their fourth tournament championship of the 2022-2023 season.
Leo Hayes advanced to the finals with their own come-from-behind victory. In their opening game against the host KVHS Blue Knights, the Lions only held the lead for 7 seconds, but it was the right 7 seconds. Thanks to a 15 point 4th quarter and game winning basket by Sam Gallagher, the Lions completed the upset with 64-63 victory. The Lions then rolled past Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders 92-77 in their 2nd game to punch their ticket to the finals.
The game of the day was Fredericton and Kennebecasis Valley in the boys 3rd place final. The home team jumped out early winning the first quarter 21-15. The Black Kats responded by winning the 2nd 19-9 for the 34-30 half time lead. Following the same pattern, the Blue Knights won the 3rd quarter 26-19 to reclaim the lead 56-53 after 30 minutes. The 4th quarter saw several lead changes with the Black Kats eventually pulling ahead by 7 points with 40 seconds remaining.
Following a timeout, KVHS made two free throws to pull within five at 75-70. On the ensuing inbound KVHS was able knock the ball loose from the Black Kats but on the scramble to gain possession the ball went out of bounds off KVHS. Again, FHS had a baseline inbounds with KVHS full court pressing. This time the Black Kats attempted a full court pass which KVHS was able to force into another turnover.
With 26 seconds remaining and no timeouts left, KVHS had to advanced the ball the full length of the court while needing to score at least twice. After a little confusion on what to run, KVHS had a 8ft floater rim out but were able to force a jump ball for yet another possession and a baseline out of bounds with 13 seconds to go. On the inbound, KVHS’s Liam McKee got open on the wing for a quick mid-range jumper that was well challenged by the Black Kat’s Liam Wallace.
To the disappointment of the large home crowd, the jumper rimmed out again and KVHS was called for the rebounding foul. FHS made the two free throws and then conceded a last second layup to secure the 77-72 win.
The Riverboat committee selected the following players as tournament All Stars.
- River Lanz (RHS) – MVP
- Titus Heron (RHS)
- Lance Mombourquette (FHS)
- Liam McKee (KVHS)
- James Ronaham (CGHS)
- Jayden Johnson (BMHS)
- Evan Cartwright (LHHS)
Day 3 Game Results and Leading Scorers
Game 13: Colonel Gray (B) – 100 vs BMHS (B) – 79 (5th Place)
- Colonel Gray Leaders: Nate Whitnell with 35 pts & John Ikpotokin with 23 pts
- BMHS Leaders: Jayden Johnson with 25 pts & Judson Doncaster with 22 pts
- Pomodori Players of the Game: Nate Whitnell (CGHS) & Judson Doncaster (BMHS)
Game 14: Fredericton (B) – 77 vs KVHS (B) – 72 (3rd Place)
- FHS Leaders: Lance Mombourquette with 30 pts & Liam Wallace with 11 pts
- KVHS Leaders: Liam McKee with 21 pts & Koichi Sahara with 15 pts
- Pomodori Players of the Game: Lance Mombourquette (FHS) & Liam McKee (KVHS)
Game 15: Rothesay (B) – 73 vs Leo Hayes (B) – 46
- Rothesay Leaders: Titus Heron with 28 pts & Colin Tilley with 15 pts
- LHHS Leaders: Jakov Belavic & Sam Gallagher with 6 pts each
- Pomodori Players of the Game: Sawyer King (LHHS) & Colin Tilley (RHS)