X-Men advance to tournament final with win over Panthers

Photo courtesy Ian Rotz
Photo courtesy Ian Rotz

ANTIGONISH - The host StFX X-Men defeated the UPEI Panthers 85-59 Friday night in the 39th annual X-Men Invitational, presented by Pizza Delight, at Oland Centre.

In a fast-paced opening five minutes of the first quarter, fifth-year senior guard Julius Antoine (Vaughan, ON) paced the X-Men with a pair of bank shots.

After a Adam Ryan (Stratford, PE) three pointer for the Panthers and a Davonte Provo (East Preston, NS) coast-to-coast lay-up for the X-Men, the teams were knotted 11-11.

It was 15-15 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the X-Men took a five-point edge - 20-15 - on a beyond-the-arc shot from junior guard Tristen Ross (Truro, NS).

After a fast-break pull-up jumper from Ross, the home team led 26-17.

The Panthers answered, led by a nifty drive from Moshe Wadley (Toronto, ON), to make it 26-21.

After a corner three from Daniel Passley (Mississauga, ON), and an old-fashioned three-point play from Kevin Bercy (Kanata, ON), the X-Men led 41-24.

StFX, who finished on a 19-3 run, led 45-24 at halftime.

In the first minute of the third quarter, the X-Men scored 10 unanswered, including a pair of Cameron Walker (Dallas, TX) hoops, to take a 54-24 lead.

Keyed by Milorad Sedlarevic (Vesenice, Slovenia), the Panthers responded with a 7-2 spurt.

Heading to the fourth quarter, the X-Men led 70-44.

In the final 10 minutes, both teams played several reserves.

Ross was the X-Men player of the game, while Wadley garnered the honour for the Panthers.

Tournament action resumes Saturday, at 6 p.m., with the Panthers and Cape Breton Capers playing in the consolation game.

The X-Men and Dalhousie Tigers will battle for the championship. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.