Saints rally for New England title
In its centennial year, Canterbury School of New Milford has a New England basketball championship to call its own.
The second-ranked Saints boys quintet captured its first New England Prep School Athletic Council class `B' title Sunday, March 8 with a 54-48 victory over top-seeded Brooks School of North Andover, Mass.
Canterbury thus capped a 22-6 hardcourt season, its best in history, giving cause for even more celebration at a prep school in the midst of its 100th year.
Then in NEPSAC tournament competition, Canterbury utilized homecourt advantage at Pigott Arena to oust seventh-seeded Millbrook of New York, 60-57, on March 4 and third-seeded Beaver Country Day of Chestnut Hill, Mass., 85-68, Friday, March 6.
Those wins advanced the Saints to Sunday's finale at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
Canterbury appeared in control Sunday through much of the title game, leading by as many as 10 points, but Brooks fought back to assume a 48-43 cushion with less than two minutes to play.
A pair of free throws by Koree Hargraves and baskets by Shane Pearley and Temar Robinson-Hermelijn, combined with a tightened defense, gave the Saints the lead, 49-48, however, and Brooks was unable to counter.
In all, Canterbury scored the game's final 11 points.
The victory proved especially emotional for some in the crowd and several Saints players as it marked the final game for seniors who had started their Canterbury basketball career under the tutelage of the late Don Gowan.
Among them were Branden Aughburns, Alex Petersen of New Milford and Robinson-Hermelign.
Gowan died at age 38 in the spring of 2012, right after their freshmen year.
On hand to support the Saints through the tournament was George-Ann Gowan of Kent, coach Gowan's mother.
For more photos, see updates at www.newmilfordspectrum.com.