After three successive championship performances at the Ernie Armstrong Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Welland Niagara Knights have finally been de-throned.
The Knights entered the tournament in search of a four-peat after three straight trips to the final but could not hold on, losing to the Windsor St. Clair Saints in the championship game, 72-59 on Sunday (Oct. 3) at Seneca College.
In the final, St. Clair was led by Toronto native Ryan Salmon and his 21 points. Salmon was named Tournament MVP, and with teammate Aaron Evans, was selected for the Tournament All-Star Team. Niagara Knights’ players Lamar Grant of Toronto, and Matt Thomas of Mississauga, also qualified for the all-star squad with Josh Budd of the Cambrian Golden Shield rounding out the honoured five.
Tournament sponsor VSP Sports provided the champion Saints and second place Knights with prize packages.
The collegiate tournament at Seneca’s Newnham Campus in North York, featured a competitive draw that included teams from across the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association and the Fédération Québécoise du Sport Étudian. The Ernie Armstrong Men’s Basketball Tournament is named after the noted former Seneca College athletics director and men’s basketball coach. His team won a Canadian College Athletic Association bronze medal in the National Championships in 1987.
The collegiate teams which participated in this year’s tournament included: Cambrian Golden Shield, Georgian Grizzlies, La Cité Coyotes, Limoilou Titans, Loyalist Lancers, Niagara Knights, St. Clair Saints, and host Seneca Sting.