The 50th edition of the Bedford Road Invitational Tournament (BRIT) wrapped up Saturday night in Saskatoon as Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals defeated Winnipeg’s Garden City Gophers 53-32 in the final.
It was a defensively tight first half as both teams struggled to find open looks and clean shots with a 23-16 score at halftime.
Handsworth managed to get inside the key and knock down their shots while forcing Garden City to take contested, outside shots with their tight defence in the second half, ultimately pulling away in the fourth quarter to win the championship game.
In the third place game, Regina’s Dr. Martin Leboldus Golden Suns were swiftly handled by Ottawa’s Notre Dame Eagles, with the final score being 73-58.
The Golden Suns kept it close through the first two quarters going into the locker room at the break only down seven points.
However, Notre Dame’s skill and athleticism took over in the final half and put on a strong showing to take back to the nation’s capital.
The 3rd place game also featured a special moment as Don Steponchev and Kelly Bowers were recognized before tipoff, they had both officiated the first edition of BRIT and returned for Saturday’s game.
“You have to run quite a bit to keep up,” Bowers said.
“It was a well played game, it wasn’t real rough or physical. The skill level was so good,” he said.
Bowers also reflected on how the quality has changed in its 50 years.
“The way these kids run up and down the floor. In those days you walked the ball up the floor.”
He also doesn’t see the Bedford Road Invitational Tournament going anywhere in the next 50 years.
“The people want to come out and see it. It’s just so much different being at BRIT than going to a conventional high school basketball game,” Bowers said.
This year’s tournament also saw the drought of a Saskatoon team failing to capture the title extend to 14 years.
The last Saskatoon team to win BRIT, was the Holy Cross Crusaders back in 2004.