Ross Royals come back to grab berth in hoops semifinals
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The Ross Royals refused to be knocked out of the District 10 high school senior boys’ basketball playoffs in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.
The Royals rallied from an 11-point deficit midway through the third quarter of the physical game to edge the Guelph CVI Green Gaels 71-69 at GCVI.
Sebastian Perizzolo-Furminger’s only basket of the game was a big one as he spun and dropped in the winning shot from under the GCVI basket with 10.9 seconds to play.
“That’s my go-to move,” he said. “I trust in it and I really like doing it and getting it done.”
Perizzolo-Furminger’s bucket came after a Ross time out to set up a play about 10 seconds earlier.
“We said pound it inside because I think they were expecting us to shoot,” Ross coach Bill Price said. “We wanted to pound it inside and we have that advantage.
“What I said in the huddle was that they don’t get the ball back. We tried to make that happen, but when you get the ball into your big guy and he’s got a good post move, 10 seconds is still reasonable.”
“I wasn’t sure what the plan was, but I knew when I got that ball there (wasn’t much) time left on the clock and I had to get a basket,” Perizzolo-Furminger said.
After GCVI took a time out to set up a final play, Perizzolo-Furminger came up big again as he blocked a shot by the Gaels from under the Ross basket with less than a second to go to preserve the win.
“That felt great,” he said. “Securing the win for the team and going on in the playoffs is great.”
Perizzolo-Furminger was the biggest player on the court and he’s a Grade 11 student, giving him at least one more season with the Royals.
“He’s a really smart player and he’s big,” Price said. “That’s a nasty combo.”
The Royals had pulled even with 41.6 seconds to go when Riley Price drained a three-pointer from near his bench.
The game was a see-saw affair throughout most of the first half before the host Gaels got a bit of a gap on the Royals in the third quarter. Ross chipped away at that lead most of the second half.
“I was concerned, but our team this year has been a lot of potential,” coach Price said. “Eight wins this year were by double-digit margins and our six losses were by double-digit margins so they’ve been hard to get consistent and I thought for a minute that this was one of those moments.
“But we hunkered down and we got it back to seven and kept it there a little bit. And then we kept attacking the hoop, pounding it inside and drawing fouls and that really changed the contexture of the game. We hit some foul shots and hit some lay-ups. We went deep and a lot our bench did a good job.”
“There’s incredible power on this team and we all came here wanting to win and we really know how to get this done when we’re playing,” Perizzolo-Furminger said. “We knew we were in a position where it’s do or die and the whole team showed up.”
Ross led 16-13 at the end of the first quarter and GCVI was up 39-34 at halftime and 54-47 at the end of the third quarter.
The game had plenty of fouls whistled with 25 called on the Royals and 32 on the Gaels. In all, there were 67 foul shots taken and the shooters sank 45 of them. Both teams had their leading scorers in the game fouled out. Khaled Djabo was the lone Ross player fouled out while GCVI had three players fouled out and another ejected.
Djabo finished with a game-high 30 points including an 11-of-19 performance on foul shots. Price added nine points, all on three-pointers, while Zaid Karsiem and Kent Vosper each had seven points and Jon Howie had six.
Ben Tofil led GCVI with 21 points before he fouled out. Kyle Kush added 14 points and Aiden Cvetich had 11 before he fouled out. That trio combined to go 15-of-18 on foul shots. Cam Ison added 10 points for the Gaels while Steven Wang had nine.
The Gaels had been one of the hottest teams in the league since the Christmas break as they’d won five of six matches – their last five — to surge into a tie for third with the Centennial Spartans at 9-5. Centennial, though, won the tie-breaker.
The Royals advance to play the second-place St. James Lions (11-3) at St. James at 3 p.m. in one of Thursday’s semifinals while the first-place Centre Wellington Falcons (13-1) are to host the sixth-place Lourdes Crusaders (4-10) at Fergus at 4 p.m. in the other.
Thursday’s winners advance to the championship match set for Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre.
Centre Wellington 80 Bishop Macdonell 37
Cole Newton led Centre Wellington to the win over eighth-place Bishop Macdonell Celtics (0-14) with 16 points while Zach Cudmore netted 15.
Kurt Sialana had 11 for Bishop Mac and Craig Boudreau contributed nine.
St. James 59 Orangeville 45
Matt Sanvido struck for 21 points for St. James in the victory over seventh-place Orangeville Bears (2-12). Alex Garbuio added 19.
Brady Wilson had 11 for Orangeville while Jeriah Valladeras collected seven.
Lourdes 66 Centennial 63
Lourdes surprised third-place Centennial with the win.
Scoring details were not reported.
There were no surprises in the junior quarter-finals as the top four teams posted victories.
Ross (13-1) had finished in first place and was followed by Orangeville (12-2), Lourdes (10-4), Centennial (8-6), GCVI (6-8), Bishop Mac (5-9), St. James (1-13) and Centre Wellington (1-13).
Thursday’s semifinals pit Lourdes against the Bears at Orangeville at 3:45 p.m. and Centennial at Ross at 4 p.m.
Winners are to meet in Saturday’s 6 p.m. final at the GGAC.
Ross 63 Centre Wellington 48
Cole Miller led Ross with 31 points while Lazar Stojanovic contributed nine and Liam Brown chipped in with seven.
Levi Humber had 15 for Centre Wellington and Hunter Hembruff netted 10 and Owen Fox collected eight.
Orangeville 74 St. James 33
Rowan Steele hit for 19 points for Orangeville and Brandon Hughes gathered 16.
Kelvin Nkubito had 13 for St. James.
Lourdes 55 Bishop Macdonell 43
Kevin Martinez struck for 20 points for Lourdes while Sebastian Porcellato had 16.
Luca DeSando and Adam Cunningham dropped in 11 points apiece for Bishop Mac.
The win gave Lourdes a berth in the CWOSSA AA junior tournament that is set for Feb. 23 and 24 at Simcoe.
Centennial 45 Guelph CVI 29
Scoring details were not reported.