TRURO - The goal is always the same for the Cobequid Cougars.
Cobequid Cougars boys basketball coach Marc Roberts talks with his players during a Thursday practice at CEC Gymnasium. The Cougars open their annual Fall Tip-Off Tournament today at noon against the Citadel Phoenix. Matthew Veno - Truro Daily News
The boys basketball team sets its sights each year on qualifying for the provincial championship tournament, which sees the top eight squads from across the province duke it out for the NSSAF Division 1 crown in the spring.
"It's my last year and I want to go as hard as I can and hopefully go all the way if we can," Cougars senior point guard Ethan Green said.
The Cougars are about to learn what their first step is in getting there as they step on the court for the first time this season today to kick off their annual Fall Tip-Off Tournament at CEC Gymnasium. The Cougars meet the Citadel Phoenix at noon before taking on New Brunswick's Carleton North at 7 p.m.
"We'll find out right away," Cougars coach Marc Roberts said. "There's no way we'll be able to get away with not sticking our philosophy about playing hard. If you're not doing that in this situation you'll stick out like a sore thumb because these teams are going to come and play hard."
The six-team event has also attracted the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames and last year's New Brunswick finalists from Fredericton and Kenebecasis Valley.
The round-robin will be played today with crossovers and the 3:15 p.m. final slated for Saturday.
"We're going to be playing against some hard teams and we're going to have to play hard and see how we compete with them really," Green, a 17-year-old Bible Hill resident, said.
The event will certainly be a feeling out process for the Cougars, who not only haven't played a game, but who have only had a handful of practices together with the full team in attendance with several members finishing up their football and soccer campaigns.
"But when we are together we're getting better and if e can stay healthy and gain experience these guys will learn quickly," Roberts said.
The team has seven returning players on its 13-man roster, including four seniors - Green, Clayton Cooke, Justice Nickerson and Nick Scissons. Roberts said he'll be leaning on those players to help get their teammates on the same page early on to get the season rolling in the right direction.
"I expect a lot from them in terms of leadership and the way things are going to be done on the floor and they're more than capable," Roberts said.
The coach said he'll be looking for his players to stick with the program's trademark style of tight defence while offensively, it'll be important for the Cougars to move the ball.
"That needs to be established this weekend," Roberts said. "We want to talk and get after it."
On Twitter: @tdnmatt
Following is a schedule for the Cobequid Cougars annual Fall Tip-Off Tournament today and Saturday at CEC Gymnasium:
Sir John A.
Citadel vs. Cobequid, noon
Fredericton vs. Sir John A., 1:45 p.m.
Carleton North vs. Citadel, 3:30 p.m.
Sir John A. vs. Kennebecasis, 5:15 p.m.
Cobequid vs. Carleton North, 7 p.m.
Kennebecasis vs. Fredericton, 8:45 p.m.
2nd Orange vs. 1st Blue, 10 a.m.
2nd Blue vs. 1st Orange, 11:45 p.m.
3rd Blue vs. 3rd Orange 1:30 p.m.
Championship Game, 3:15 p.m.
Cobequid Cougars Basketball 2013-2014
Name Gr. Ht. Pos.
12 Clayton Cooke 12 6'3 F
4 Ethan Green 12 5'9 G
5 Justice Nickerson 12 6'3 F
1 Nick Scissons 12 6'0 G
14 Chris Fitzgerald 11 6'6 F
8 Andreas Foerester 11 6'0 G
3 Sam Petrie 11 5'11 G
6 Curtis Smith 11 6'1 G
15 Bruce Landsberg 11 6'3 F
10 Isaac Upham 10 5'10 G
7 Tyren Desmond 10 5'11 G
13 Shahno Ahmad 10 6'1 F
11 Hayden MacKenzie 10 6'3 F
Coaches: Edwin Reynolds & Marc Roberts