Lourdes sprints to lead then digs in for opening win
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The Lourdes Crusaders were fast out of the gates then held on to slip by the defending champion Centre Wellington Falcons 55-51 on the opening day of the District 10 high school senior boys’ basketball season.
Lourdes scored the first 18 points of the game and held Centre Wellington scoreless in the first four and a half minutes.
“We were hitting shots,” Lourdes coach Mike Finoro said. “Life was good in the first half. We’ve got to figure out a way to continue our pushes whether or not we’re making shots. CW did a great job of weathering the storm and pushing back at us, but we’ve got to figure out a way to play tough and play hard no matter what’s happening.”
The host Crusaders led 21-8 at the end of the first quarter and 38-25 at halftime. The Falcons chipped away at the lead and got it down to 43-41 for Lourdes at the end of the third quarter, although there was no scoring in last three and a half minutes of the quarter.
“The theme for us has been our resilience,” Finoro said. “Can we weather storms? Can we push back at teams? It’s a long journey and it started today. Hopefully things continue to move forward.”
Centre Wellington grabbed its only lead of the game at 48-47 three minutes into the final quarter, but Lourdes came back as the Falcons’ shooting went cold. All 10 points Centre Wellington scored in the fourth quarter came on foul shots. And the only scoring in the final 1:41 was a foul shot sunk by Kevin Martinez of Lourdes.
The fourth-quarter free throw bucket was one of three hit by the Crusaders in the game and was also Martinez’s only point of the second half. He and Geeth Kenneth had scored 24 points between them in the opening half and that warranted extra attention for both from the Falcons in the second half and that resulted in a single point between them.
“At the end of the day, we got a win,” Finoro said. “Yes, there’s a lot we need to work on, but it’s the start we wanted and a start that’s going to help us build.”
The Crusaders hit 10 three-pointers in the game, eight coming in the first half. The Falcons sank five. Lourdes also took 25 fouls, 14 more than Centre Wellington.
Martinez led Lourdes with 14 points while Kenneth had 11. They were followed by Sebastian Porcellto with nine, Jacob Porcellato with eight and David Mokonen with seven.
Brock Newton had 16 points for Centre Wellington while Johnny Barclay netted 15, Zach Cudmore collected 10 and Keenen Lochert had eight.
Most members of the Spartans were members of either their 2018 D10-winning junior team or their 2017 D10-winning junior team – or both.
“We keep saying on paper we have a good team,” Finoro said. “Senior ball is a different beast than junior ball so they have to be willing to work. If we can put the right pieces in the right places, we should be able to make a little bit of noise. Hopefully everything works out.”
Centennial 92 Bishop Macdonell 45
Hadi El-Miari had 16 points for Centennial while Jack Viveiros netted 14.
Kobi Griffin-Randall led Bishop Mac with 16 while Luca DeSando added 11.
Ross 75 Guelph CVI 69
Malcolm Bair’s 21 points led Ross while Ayden Bourdeau and Riley Price chipped in with 12 apiece.
Jerrol Smiles connected for a game-high 28 for GCVI while Rylan Ninaber contributed 14 and Yash Pandya added nine.
St. James 71 Orangeville 57
Alex Garbuio hit for 26 points for St. James while Matt Sanvido had 20.
Rowan Steele collected 30 for Orangeville and Brandon Hughes gathered seven.
Ross 66 Guelph CVI 59
Dominic Vanos struck for 24 points for Ross while two other players hit double figures — Gatlang Deng with 16 and Daniel Wang with 11.
Kristian Varosi had 15 for GCVI and Emerson Milbury followed with 13.
Lourdes 53 Centre Wellington 45
Tyler Blais connected for 18 points for Lourdes while Noah Penny had 10.
Owen Fox led all scorers with 24 for Centre Wellington.
Centennial 61 Bishop Macdonell 47
Sebastian Harmen-den Hoed netted 18 points for Centennial while Jackson Davidson had 11.
Ramez Kridli collected 14 for Bishop Mac.
Orangeville 44 St. James 39
Scoring leaders not reported.