In front of a packed house of students, parents, fans and a live television crew, Edmonton’s St. Francis Xavier Rams defeated the Campbell Collegiate Tartans from Regina 77-55 to claim the 49th annual Bedford Road Invitational Tournament (BRIT) title.
It was the Rams fifth time playing in BRIT, their first being in 1975, but their first time winning the international tournament.
“To see them get to win and rewarded for their hard work, makes me really happy for them, I’m pumped,” said Rams head coach Jeremy Pasteraro before being mobbed by his squad.
Edmonton got out to an early 19-15 lead after the first quarter, but it was the second quarter, where they outscored the Tartans 14-4 that put so much distance between the two teams, making a comeback for Campbell nearly impossible.
For the Tartans, who have been participants in the tournament 19 times yet have never won the BRIT, the loss was a tough pill to swallow.
“The guys will live and learn. They haven’t played guys like this who can shoot that well, and shoot from all over the court it seems,” noted Tartans head coach Will Redl.
The Rams had four players in double digits, including tournament MVP Liam Harrison, who had 19 points in the winning effort.
“It’s the best tournament I’ve ever been too, the hospitality is amazing,” Harrison stated after the game.
You can say it was a long time coming for St. Francis Xavier. Five of the Rams had been to the invitational for three years in a row, but this was their first time lifting the BRIT trophy.
“When we came here in Grade 10, it was such a great experience. I’m my mind I was like wow this would be such a great experience to win it, to actually be here in Grade 12 and accomplish that is amazing,” said Nahome Giorgis, who wants to pursue a career in sports in the future.
The crowd may have felt the game was over when the Rams were up by 20 late in the fourth quarter, but Giorgis affirms he never felt it was that much of a give-away, “I didn’t think it was over until about like, a minute left. When I saw we were up by 20 or so, that’s when I felt the win coming.”
The bleachers and posters may be already put away, but the committee is already planning to next years invitational, which will be the 50th BRIT.