Falcons bounce back to hand Lions first setback

GUELPH – And then there was none.

The last of the undefeated teams in District 10 high school senior boys’ basketball fell Wednesday as the St. James Lions fell 63-53 to the defending champion Centre Wellington Falcons at St. James.

It was the second consecutive win for the Falcons after they dropped their season opener to the Lourdes Crusaders.

“We learned a lesson from that game,” Centre Wellington coach Jeff Brubacher said. “We knew that we needed to be focused and ready to go – throw the first punch rather than get knocked around.”

“We’ve picked up the pace,” Centre Wellington’s Brock Newton said. “We’re a good team. We can fast-break a lot of teams so we can take it.”

Lourdes scored the first 18 points of that game and eventually won by four.

Centre Wellington’s win over St. James in Wednesday’s only D10 senior game leaves five teams all with a single loss – St. James, Centre Wellington, Centennial Spartans, Lourdes and Ross Royals. The Lions are at 3-1 while the others are each at 2-1. Yes, partway through the second week of league play and there are no unbeaten teams in the league. Ah, parity.

“I really think that the league is going to be that much more balanced and that’s great,” Brubacher said. “It’s great for all the teams. Whoever comes out of our league will be much more battle tested for a tough CWOSSA. I think overall the level’s going to be up and who knows at the end. Any given night and any given day you have to be prepared. Everyone’s going to be prepared and everyone’s got pride and we’ll see.”

“I think it’s better, but I still think we can kill every team,” Newton said. “I still think we have a chance to blow every team out of the water just because of how fast we are. We have the ability to change a game like that. We get a couple of plays, we get hyped up and we cans core.”

And while there seems to be more teams capable of winning the D10 title this season, it also seems they all play a different style from run-and-gun to pound-it-inside.

“You get to see different looks, different defences, just different personnel,” Brubacher said. “St. James has the big kid (Matt Sanvido) who can shoot and he takes up a lot of space. Ross has a big kid, too, but we haven’t seen them yet. Other than that, we don’t have a lot of great big bodies in our league. We have more guard play so it’s good to see that.”

“We have a lot of guys who can drive and we’ve got a lot of shooters, too,” Newton said. “We can always drive and kick it where we want.”

The Falcons, who haven’t had a home game yet due to a malfunction of the basket-lowering system in their gym Tuesday that forced the postponement of a match with the Bishop Macdonell Celtics (0-2), jumped ahead early. They ran to an 8-2 lead and were up 19-11 at the end of the first quarter. The Falcons extended their lead to 42-28 by halftime and 57-37 at the end of the third quarter.

Newton led the Falcons with 18 points while Keenen Lochert had 15, Zach Cudmore 12 and Johnny Barclay seven.

Matt Sanvido struck for a game-high 26 for St. James and Alex Garbuio contributed 12 and Josh Sims chipped in with eight.

“We’ve got to just keep pushing and keep getting better,” Newton said. “I feel like if we box out, grab boards and run the fast break, we’ll be able to win this thing.”

 

Junior

St. James 50 Centre Wellington 46

A second-quarter rally pushed St. James ahead and they held on to the end.

Centre Wellington led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter before St. James surged ahead 24-19 in the second quarter. St. James was up 33-25 at the end of the third quarter.

Adam MacPherson hit for 17 points for St. James while Kelvin Nkubito had 16 and David Farrelly added 12.

Centre Wellington received 14 points from Hunter Mathewson, 13 from Owen Fox and seven apiece from Erik Deckert and Gareth Roberts.

 

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