NBIAA Final 12

Moncton Holds On For AAA Title

By Peter Butler | NB Hoop News

The final game of the 2022 NBIAA Final 12 did not disappoint as the Moncton High School Purple Knights watched their 12 point fourth quarter lead dwindle down to 1 in the final moments. The Purple knights went 0/6 from the foul line in the final 10 seconds to give Bernice a chance with a half-court shot that rimmed out as time expired. The Purple Knights win 74 – 73 for their first boys basketball championship in school history. This was a great ending to an absolutely great weekend of high school basketball at the Final 12.

Moncton and Bernice MacNaughton went back and forth in the first quarter and when the buzzer sounded the Purple Knights held a 18 – 16 lead. The next ten minutes would be very close as well but Moncton outscored the Highlanders 17 – 14 in the period to give themselves a 35 – 30 lead at halftime.

The closeness of this game continued in the third quarter as Moncton scored 18 more points and the Highlanders added 17. With 10 minutes left to go, it was the Purple Knights 53 and the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders 47. In the final period the crowd would be treated to the best finish of the weekend. Moncton managed to put a little space between themselves and BMHS as they grew their lead to 12 multiple times but then the Highlanders D and pressure made the floor shrink on the Purple Knights causing missed shots and turnovers. Jai Punna heated up for Bernice and nail a few key three pointers to cut into the lead and with the full court pressure on again Moncton fired a blind pass up the middle and in Punna’s hands again for a turnover and a wide open three pointer to cut the lead to 1. Moncton missed all 6 of their foul shots with less than 10 seconds remaining and on the final play of the game, Bernice MacNaughton launched a half court shot that just missed going in. Moncton take the win 74 – 73.

Moncton was led by their NBIAA Northeast AAA Boys Player of the Year and All-Star, Felly Njiyali, who scored 32 points, had 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 block for his double-double to earn Player of the Game honours for the Purple Knights. Chris Nicholson also collected a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Kevin lee went 4 for 5 from three point land as he scored 12 and NBIAA Northeast All-Star Xander Anovert scored 10 points and nabbed 4 steals. For Bernice MacNaughton, Jai Punna went 6 for 9 from beyond the arc for 18 points to lead the way. Jack Orozco had 17 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists to earn player of the game for Bernice. Northeast All-Star, Caleb Velarde added 17 points and teammate Ethan Briand chipped in with 10 in a losing cause.

Congrats to the Moncton High School Purple Knights for their First ever High School Boys AAA Championship!!!

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