Royals roll over short-staffed Sentinels

Joey Payeur

The St. Francis Sentinels, reduced to two-thirds of their regular squad due to prior hockey tournament commitments by four members of the team, battled bravely but ultimately fell 14-3 to the Riverview Royals in the gold-medal game of the Crossroads Tornadoes girls’ basketball tournament held Saturday.
Centre Meaghan Vogan, who was dominant in the rebounding department at both ends of the floor, was the co-leader in scoring for the game with teammate Kendra Moen at six points apiece.
Becky Cunningham chipped in the other two points.
Guard Hayley Arpin was outstanding running the offence while Elizabeth Fraser and Bethany Lauzon provided top-notch defence against a Sentinels’ squad that was shut out 8-0 in the first half and scored only one field goal the entire game.
Amber Townson had the two points while Anika Alexander made one free throw for St. Francis, which won its opening two games with all hands on deck before dropping its last two after the hockey crew went their separate way.
The Sentinels doubled the host Tornadoes 18-9 in their opener, then dominated the Robert Moore Mustangs #2 17-2 to clinch first place in Pool ‘A’ with a 2-0 record.
But in its streamlined form, St. Francis gave a hint of the offensive troubles to come in the final as they were dumped 10-2 by the Sturgeon Creek Sturgeons in an exhibition match-up preceding the playoff round.
Meanwhile, Riverview constructed an almost impenetrable fortress around their hoop all day in putting on a defensive clinic.
The Royals thumped Robert Moore No. #1 14-4 and steamrolled Sturgeon Creek 20-6 to claim top spot in Pool ‘B.’
In the battle for bronze, Crossroads built a 7-5 lead over Sturgeon Creek at the half, but couldn’t buy a basket in the second half as the Sturgeons scored 12 unanswered points after the break to walk away with a 17-7 victory.
Sturgeon Creek pounded Robert Moore No. #1 18-4 in its opener before losing to Riverview and then beating St. Francis in the exhibition match-up.
Crossroads rebounded from its opening loss to St. Francis with a 17-6 triumph over Robert Moore No. #2, then unleashed an offensive barrage in a 24-6 rout of Robert Moore #1 in their exhibition tilt.
The fifth-place final saw an all-Mustangs confrontation, with Robert Moore #2 fighting back from a first-half deficit to wind up with a 13-9 win over Robert Moore #1.
The female hoopsters will be back in action this Saturday with a tournament at J.W. Walker.
The boys, meanwhile, will trade shots that same day at the annual Jim Oster Invitational at Robert Moore School—the first major tournament to be played in the newly-built facility’s gym.