Reigning MVP’s back, Falcons continue to soar
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – It was a present they knew they were likely to get, but they defending champion Centre Wellington Falcons are grateful for having reigning District 10 high school senior boys’ MVP Cole Newton back on the floor.
“We were hoping it would be right after Christmas, but we didn’t know,” Centre Wellington coach Jeff Brubacher said. “He actually was finally cleared right at the very, very end of the Christmas holidays. That’s when they gave the final clearance. He was able to do a little bit of running and stay in shape that way so that was good.”
Newton struck for 19 points Thursday as the Falcons preserved their unbeaten record with a 68-54 victory over the Centennial Spartans at Centennial.
“It feels great (to be back),” Newton said. “It sucked being out for the first half of the season, but now that I’m back I feel fine. I feel I’m back to what I was before.”
Newton fractured the radius right by his elbow on his right arm in Centre Wellington’s first workout of the season. However, the team hasn’t implemented no-contact rules at its practices as a result of the injury.
“I went for a dunk in practice and got undercut from behind and landed on my arm,” he said.
“It was an unfortunate situation, a total accident,” Centre Wellington coach Jeff Brubacher said. “The kid felt bad, obviously, and there was no intent to hurt a teammate.”
While watching games from the bench is usually tough for any injured player, it was likely made a little easier for Newton when the Falcons won all eight of the games on the 2017 portion of their D10 league schedule.
“It’s really hard, especially when you know you can make an impact on the floor,” Newton said. “But for the entire team, it was good for them because they all learned different roles. They got to handle the ball more and just develop.”
Thursday, Centennial had the early lead before Centre Wellington responded to go ahead 18-16 by the end of the first quarter. The Falcons were up 33-25 at halftime and 48-41 at the end of the third quarter.
Zach Cudmore collected 17 points for the Falcons while Brock Newton had 16 and Johnny Barclay netted seven.
Jake Warywoda had a game-high 22 for Centennial and he was followed by Cameron Powell with 19 and Harris Schaubel with eight.
The Falcons hit for five three-pointers in the match and went 18-for-30 on free throws.
The Spartans drained seven three-point shots and went 4-for-7 on foul shots.
Centre Wellington leads the league at a perfect 10-0. St. James Lions are second at 8-2 and are followed by Centennial at 6-3, Ross Royals at 6-4, Guelph CVI Green Gaels at 5-5, Lourdes Crusaders at 2-7, Orangeville Bears at 1-7 and Bishop Macdonell Celtics at 0-10.
“Given the fact that (the injury to Cole Newton) happened, it’s surprising that we’ve been able to manage and go undefeated,” Brubacher said. “It’s exceeded my expectations. We have a talented group even without Cole and Cole brings so much experience and leadership back in. He can help distribute the ball a lot better.”
Cole Newton’s absence did give some of his teammates experience at playing different positions than usual.
“I was asking some guys to step up and they were maybe not quite as comfortable or used to those positions and it’s a big transition from junior to senior,” Brubacher said.
“Just working hard and boxing out on defence,” Cole Newton answered when asked what the key would be to staying undefeated. “We’re just as talented as every team in D10 and we’re big. As long as we use that to our advantage, we should be able to win.”
Guelph CVI 58 Ross 42
Kyle Kush led GCVI with 19 points while Ben Tofil added 11.
Ayden Bourdeau had 15 for Ross.
St. James 55 Bishop Macdonell 26
Matt Sanvido’s 23 points led St. James while Josh Sims gathered eight.
Kurt Sialana had seven for Bishop Mac.
Bishop Macdonell 57 St. James 46
Matt MacEachern struck for 14 points for Bishop Mac while Luca DeSando and Adam Cunningham each had 13.
David Farrelly led St. James with 10 while James Martin gathered eight.
Ross 63 Guelph CVI 47
Lazar Stojanovic connected for 17 points for Ross while Grey Yates followed with 14 and Cole Miller had 11.
Kristian Varosi netted 11 for GCVI while Yash Pandya had nine and Tennessee Tremain netted seven7.
Centennial 71 Centre Wellington 44
Scoring details were not reported.