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Saturday, April 20, 2024
Sports: Team defence key in two Rangers basketball wins
Photo (c)2023 Dave Van de Laar Dave Van De Laar
Point guard Chad Thorpe again led the Rangers U19 men's team in scoring at the tournament in Barrie. Dave Van De Laar
Josh Smith takes the ball to the rim during practice. Dave Van De Laar
Graham Midgley in mid dunk. Dave Van De Laar

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Chad Thorpe led the Niagara Rangers U19 men’s basketball team to two wins in their first weekend of the 2023 season.

Teams travelled to George Brown College in Toronto on Saturday to tip off the Ontario Basketball League season.

Niagara beat Guelph Gryphons 67-56 in game 1 and then topped the Sudbury Jam 60-49 in their second match.

Thorpe, a 6-foot-3 point guard who was a starter on Eden High School’s senior team this year, had 28 points in the Guelph game and 19 against Sudbury.

Dylan Durlov added nine versus Guelph and Ben Johnson contributed 10 in the second game.

Niagara head coach Jonathon Thorpe said his team’s defensive intensity was the difference.

“In particular, our full-court press was very effective. Two of the players that really led by example getting a lot of deflections and steals on our press were Graham and Luke Midgley,” he said.

The Midgley brothers are from Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Niagara, a regional team, has four league games this weekend all in Ajax.

On Saturday, the Rangers play London and South Simcoe. Then on Sunday they go up against Mississauga and Ottawa.

The team is sponsored by NOTL realtor Wendy Midgley of Royal LePage and by Taste of Bombay restaurant in Niagara Falls.

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