Last second heartbreaker for NACI Tigers


Online-Pic-Boys Basketball


Dillon Neufeld (22) of the Neepawa Tigers performs a layup during the Varsity Boys matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 26 against the Elton Sabers.

By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner/Neepawa Press

If there is one thing you can say about a NACI Varsity Boys basketball game, it’s that it’s never boring. After earning a last second victory over MacGregor earlier this month, the Tigers found themselves on the other side of the equation on Tuesday, Jan. 26, losing a thriller to the Elton Sabers 72-71.

Neepawa would get off to a quick start, outscoring Elton 22-8 in the first quarter. The Sabers were able to find their game in the second, however, outscoring the Tigers by a narrow 14-13 margin. That made it a 35-22 score at the half.

In the third, the Sabers would slowly begin to whittle away at Neepawa’s lead. Elton clawed back into the game, to the point in which the visting team found itself trailing by just two points with 2:21 remaining in the game. From there, both teams traded baskets, scoring clutch shots to keep the matchup a real nail biter.

With 8.5 seconds remaining, Neepawa held on to a slim one point lead at 71-70, but Elton was able to inbound the ball from mid-court, race down to the NACI end and connect on a layup with just 3.1 seconds remaining in regulation to take the lead, their first in the entire game. After Elton missed a single shot from the foul line, the Tigers raced up court to attempt a last second shot, but it was not meant to be, as the visiting Sabers escaped with an incredible come from behind win, 72-71.

Leading the charge for NACI in this game, were Dillon Neufeld, who scored 18 points for the Tigers and R.J. Caledonia, who added 14 to the score sheet, including 10 in the first quarter. 

The next game for the NACI Varsity Boys basketball team is set for Wednesday, Feb. 3 against a yet to be determined team.