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X-Falcons go indoors to repeat as Dolphin Classic champions

Doesnt matter whether its outside or inside, the X-Falcons are the kings of the Dolphin Basketball Classic.

Doesnt matter whether its outside or inside, the X-Falcons are the kings of the Dolphin Basketball Classic.

The X-Falcons continued their dominance of the 26th annual Richmond summer hoop tournament, this time going indoors to defeat Athelite 80-65 in a rematch of the 2010 final. The team, which features Langara College alumni, has now four of the last five titles.

The championship game was overshadowed by the wet weather that had teams going back-and-forth from the two outdoor courts to the Thompson Community Centre gym throughout the weekend. The men and womens semi-final games were held outside but late afternoon showers on Sunday forced the tournament to conclude indoors. Fans had to cram around the court for the mens final with little in the way of space designed for spectators.

It marked the first time the championship game has been played indoors since the early 1990s when the tournament scrambled to the old Richmond High gym. More recently, some round-robin games took place at McMath secondary but the weather cooperated for the playoff games. Not this time.

It's been a crazy weekend, sighed Bruce Watson, one of the Classic organizers. Its been very trying with a lot of obstacles and things we have never had to deal with. We persevered anyways.

To keep the schedule on time, two indoor games were held simultaneously going width-wise on the full court. However, that changed for the mens final when a decision was made to go full court despite being a four-on-four format.

Everyone got involved and in the end we went with full court, added Watson. I think it was the right decision. It was just a little too tight on the smaller courts.

The X-Falcons didnt miss a beat on the bigger surface, racing out to an early double digit lead and then being in cruise control the rest of the way. The team is led by a pair of savvy veterans, in two-time MVP Randy Nohr and now four-time champion Navi Sekhon There are plenty of younger legs too, including former McMath star Kyle Watson, tournament MVP Casey Archibald and Clay Crellin who would later show his athleticism by winning the ever-popular slam dunk contest.

The tournament was the last for Sekhon, who at 36, announced he will be only focused on coaching and helping run the tournament next year.

This is my 14th tournament and my last, he smiled. Im turning 37 next year and this is a good way to go out. Im glad to be sailing off into the sunset with a championship.

We have played together for a lot of years and know how to stay calm out there. Even when they came back on us a bit we got the ball to the right players and the right time.