The defending champion Garden City Fighting Gophers opened the 2012 Wesmen Classic high school boys' basketball tournament with a victory Thursday, beating the John Taylor Pipers 86-49 at the University of Winnipeg Duckworth Centre.
Garden City, ranked No. 1 in the provincial AAAA top 10, was led by post Tynan Reyes with 35 points.
In other games, the Oak Park Raiders beat the Glenlawn Lions 85-77, the Kildonan East Reivers defeated the Sturgeon Heights Huskies 70-65, and the St. Paul's Crusaders beat the Kelvin Clippers 70-65.
In Friday's semifinal at 4 p.m., Oak Park will meet Kildonan East. The second semifinal will be played on Saturday at 4 p.m. with Garden City, the province's No. 1-ranked team, taking on St. Paul's.
In the final of the boys' junior varsity division played on Thursday night, the Kildonan East Reivers won the championship title defeating the Glenlawn Lions 60-54. Kildonan East was led by Dharmjit Dhillon who scored 17 points and was named the tournament's most valuable player.
The 46th annual university men's portion of the Wesmen Classic begins Friday. Lakehead will meet the University of Northern B.C. at noon, Brandon will take on North Dakota's Dickinson State at 2 p.m., the host Winnipeg Wesmen will play Alberta's Keyano College at 6:30 p.m. and North Dakota's Mayville State will play Mount Royal of Calgary at 8:30 p.m.
The high school championship game is Sunday at 6 p.m. followed at 8 p.m. by the university men's championship final.
It is the 46th annual Wesmen Classic, billed as the longest-running university tournament in Canada.
The Wesmen women's team will play a pair of exhibition games on Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. against Dickinson State University.
Here's a recap of today's high school games:
Oak Park Raiders 85 Glenlawn Lions 77
Oak Park: Junior Sesay 32, Casey Blanca 15
Glenlawn: Austin Arsenault 19, Evan Bruce 19
Kildonan East Reivers 70 Sturgeon Heights Huskies 65
Kildonan East: Ayob Ayob 26, Arshdeep Gill 12, Dominic Scarlett 12
Sturgeon Heights: Ryan Raycroft 24, Steven Williamson 14
St. Paul’s Crusaders 70 Kelvin Clippers 65
St. Paul’s: Justus Alleyn 28, Malik Irwin 11
Kelvin: Liam Haime 16, Ivan Paskvalin 16
Garden City Fighting Gophers 86 John Taylor Pipers 49
Garden City: Tynan Reyes 35, Josh Magpantay 18
John Taylor: Kuet Kuet 14, Derrick McIntyre 11.