St. James keeps grasp on second in senior boys’ hoops
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The St. James Lions helped turn the three-way tie for second in the District 10 high school senior boys’ basketball league into a two-way tie with a 56-36 victory over the ailing Ross Royals Thursday at St. James.
“The guys have been working very, very hard. They’ve had some great practices,” St. James coach Dave Mencfeld said. “We’ve had some mixed results in tournaments, but we’ve beat some really good teams in tournaments so we were really looking forward for this game, a rematch against Ross.”
The Lions had dropped the season opener between the teams 71-53 at Ross Nov. 28.
“We started off pretty bad, but we’ve started gelling,” Matt Sanvido of the Lions said. “Working at practice, the hard work had paid off.”
The match featured a battle between two of the league’s bigger men, Sanvido and Ross’s Sebastian Perizzolo-Furminger. Both are around 6-foot-9 with Perizzolo-Furminger the stockier of the two. They waged a spirited battle under the baskets and got on each other’s nerves enough to take fouls and tell the referees to keep an eye on the tactics their rival employed.
“It was a good game, hard-fought,” Sanvido said. “It was a rough game, but we pulled out on top so it’s good to go into the Christmas break with a win.”
“Matt has been very, very key for us,” coach Mencfeld said. “He’s been working very hard and he plays a lot of minutes. I try to give him about four minutes’ break a game to give him some air. He’s very, very committed to boxing out and working very hard in the paint and I’ve been proud of how he’s been playing all season long.”
For Ross, all the Royals want for Christmas is to get healthy. The loss was their third in four games and they had five players on the bench who probably should have stayed at home as they’d spent most of the week battling a stomach flu.
Thursday, the Lions led 13-6 at the end of the first quarter, 23-14 at halftime and 38-21 after three quarters.
“Defensively that was probably one of our strongest games,” coach Mencfeld said. “We still have some things we have to work on in terms of transition. Our offence has been rolling, though. We hit shots. Our guys trust each other. They move the ball around. It doesn’t matter who gets the ball outside, they can all shoot and they’re all free to shoot. We missed five three-pointers in a row, but we got all five rebounds so when that kind of stuff happens and the guys buy in to the idea of rebounding – offensive rebounding in that case – good things happen.”
“It was a good defensive game. We did pretty good on our offence, we just need to work on our plays,” Sanvido said. “When we come back (from the Christmas break), we need to work more on help defence and we need to work on our plays and just gel as a team.
Sanvido led St. James with 16 points while Alex Garbuio had 13, Jose Martirena seven and Aidan Feeney, Josh Mencfeld and Joel Tersigni six apiece.
Khaled Djabo had 12 for Ross while Perizzolo-Furminger netted eight and Riley Price and Callum MacSween each had five.
Thursday’s games were the first matches of the second half of the season. The teams will return from the break with two weeks of games starting Jan. 9. Then they’ll have two more weeks off for exams before playing the final week of the regular season with games Feb. 6 and 8.
The playoffs are to start Feb. 13 with the senior and junior championships slated to be played Feb. 17 at Centre Wellington.
The defending champion Centre Wellington Falcons head into the break atop the league at a perfect 8-0. St. James and Centennial Spartans are tied for second at 6-2 and they’re followed by Ross at 5-3, Guelph CVI Green Gaels at 4-4, Lourdes Crusaders at 2-6, Orangeville Bears at 1-7 and Bishop Macdonell Celtics at 0-8.
Guelph CVI 59 Bishop Macdonell 41
Ben Tofil had 17 points for GCVI.
Kurt Sialana led Bishop Mac with 12 points.
Centre Wellington 67 Orangeville 55
Brock Newton collected a game-high 25 points for Centre Wellington while Zach Cudmore had 16.
Hassan Badran struck for 15 for Orangeville while Charlie Hamilton netted 12.
Centennial 68 Lourdes 49
Scoring details not reported.
Ross remained atop the league with a 59-37 win over St. James.
The Royals lead at 8-0 while the Lions are eighth at 0-8.
Ross pulled away in the fourth quarter for the win after the host Lions had kept the gap at eight points at the end of the third quarter. The Royals had led 27-19 at halftime and 35-27 after the third quarter.
Cole Miller had 28 points for Ross while Liam Brown added 15 and Carter Wesley chipped in with seven.
Kelvin Nkubita had 18 points for St. James with Adam MacPherson getting seven and James Martin had six.
Orangeville is second in the standings at 7-1 while Lourdes is at 6-2, Centennial at 4-4, GCVI and Bishop Mac at 3-5 and Centre Wellington at 1-7.
Orangeville 47 Centre Wellington 21
Rowan Steele hit for 19 points for Orangeville and Aiden Davy had seven.
Centre Wellington’s leading scorers were not reported.
Lourdes 64 Centennial 58
Scoring details not reported.
Bishop Macdonell 40 Guelph CVI 38
Bishop Mac moved into the tie with GCVI thanks to the two-point win Wednesday.
Matt MacEachern had 10 points for Bishop Mac while Luca DeSando netted nine and Adam Cunningham contributed eight.
Tennessee Tremain had 11 for GCVI while Leo Szabo and Emerson Milbury added six apiece.