Bruised Lions reign in their senior hoops home opener

GUELPH – The St. James Lions withstood their early-season injuries and the Ross Royals to claim a 62-52 victory in District 10 high school senior boys’ basketball play Thursday at St. James.

“It’s tough because we’re missing some of our key players, but some of the other guys stepped up,” Alex Garbuio of the Lions said. “They were stepping in and doing their part to score which was big for us. When our key players are missing, it’s different and we had to figure that out. They stepped up big time and they played really, really good defence and that was one thing that was constant in this game.”

“We have a very deep bench,” St. James coach Claire Endicott said. “We’re fortunate in that the people who are hurt are able to rest right now.”

The Royals led 12-9 at the end of the first quarter before the host Lions shot ahead 26-21 by the end of the opening half and they were up 42-37 after the third quarter.

Alex Garbuio led St. James with 25 points with all but three coming in the second half.

“Our defence was good all first half, but our offence was kind of stagnant,” Garbuio said. “Shots weren’t dropping. Then we came out second half, switched our mentality and we really pushed it on offence, feeding off our defence.”

Garbuio was also called upon to quarterback the St. James offence more in the second half and the Lions took advantage of the Royals were offering.

“We noticed what they were doing on defence and that the screen and roll was there,” Garbuio said. “We had a lot of options off that so we kept on going at it and it worked for us.”

“We talked at half and it needed to be mostly a change in mindset,” Endicott said. “We needed to just play basketball and we needed to stop focusing on the refs so much.”

Matt Sanvido had 14 of his 23 points for St. James in the first half. Dorion Simpson and Josh Sims each had four in the game.

For Ross, Malcolm Bair hit for 11 points while Riley Price had 10, Sebastian Perizzolo-Furminger eight and Gray Yates and Jarren Sweitzer six apiece.

The game featured the battle of the big men, Sanvido of St. James and Perizzolo-Furminger of Ross, a match-up worth watching. While both teams use their big guys as key pieces of their offence, both also use them to feed the others around them.

“Something that we like to pride ourselves on is that we have more than one Big,” Endicott said. “We have a very obvious Big, but we have more than one Big so we really try to get everybody on the floor playing. We tend to play the off side so people aren’t able to help on defence on our other guys that are playing.”

For the second season in a row, the Lions have a coaching change. Now Endicott and Emily Case are calling the shots. The pair played D10 high school girls’ basketball at Lourdes – never on the same team – and both played OUA women’s basketball, Endicott with the Queen’s Gaels and Case with the Laurentian Voyageurs. Now both are teachers in the Wellington Catholic School Board.

“The admin here at the school is a big supporter of men coaching women, women coaching men. It doesn’t matter,” Endicott said. “They picked up on the fact that myself and Emily Case had just finished coaching over at Lourdes, the junior girls, and we were up for grabs for coaching. They asked if we’d like to coach the senior boys and there wasn’t even a second choice for us. It’s just basketball. We’re here to play and fundamentals are fundamentals.”

“It’s different, but they’re both great coaches,” Garbuio said. “They’ve got basketball experience. They’ve both played university ball and they do a good job pushing us, especially when we get a little bit hyped up. They calm us down and keep us in the game.”


Lourdes 75 Bishop Macdonell 41

Will Vandenheuvel struck for 19 points for Lourdes while Kevin Martinez followed with 15.

Kobi Griffin-Randall and C. Brown each had seven for Bishop Mac.


Guelph CVI 74 Orangeville 64

GCVI’s top scorers were Jerrol Smiles, Ryan Ninaber and C.Sounders.

Orangeville was led by Rowan Steele, T.J. Walkinshaw and K. Manzerolle.

Scoring totals were not available.


Centre Wellington 62 Centennial 57

Zach Cudmore hit for 19 points for Centre Wellington and Brock Newton added 17.

Cameron Powell had 14 for Centennial and Clarke collected 13.



Bishop Macdonell 66 Lourdes 61

Nathan Perry connected for 18 points for Bishop Mac and Ramez Kridli had 17 and Nick Poloniato gathered 12.

Tyler Blais had a game-high 36 for Lourdes.


Guelph CVI 68 Orangeville 65

Kristian Varosi netted 28 points for GCVI and Tennesse Tremain contributed 10.

Keelan Steele had 21 for Orangeville and K. Cole had 10.


Ross 72 St. James 48

Daniel Wang led Ross with 22 points while L. Hart and Vosper each chipped in with nine.

Kelvin Nkubito had 20 for St. James and David Farrelly had 13.


Centennial 67 Centre Wellington 42

Scoring details not reported.


  • Guelph Sports Journal