Top squads advance to championship night
GUELPH – After all the reworking of schedules caused by two consecutive snow days, the predictable happened in District 10 high school boys’ basketball.
The teams that occupied the top two spots in the standings in both senior and junior at the end of the regular season are to meet in Saturday night’s finals.
The first-place and two-time defending champion Centre Wellington Falcons and the second-place Centennial Spartans are to battle for the senior crown while the first-place Ross Royals and second-place Centennial (they had identical 12-1 records) are to meet to decide the junior champion.
The championship combatants were decided in Friday’s semifinals and for all four it’ll be their third game in as many days as the snow days compressed the championship week schedule. The quarter-finals went Thursday.
The games are to go at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre. The junior match is to start the championship doubleheader at 6 p.m. and the seniors are to follow at 8 p.m.
Centre Wellington 55 St. James 46
Brock Newton struck for 27 points for Centre Wellington while Johnny Barclay followed with 10.
Aidan Feeney had 11 for St. James and Matt Sanvido collected 10.
Centennial 60 Lourdes 56
The Spartans came out flying and built a 16-point lead in the first quarter, then needed to rally in the fourth to hold off the Crusaders.
“We knew we were going to be in tough because they can shoot it really well,” Centennial coach Rob Conroy said. “I’ll take it. A win is a win and we’ve got a chance to win the championship. We started group, but we knew they’re a great team. (Lourdes coach) Mike (Finoro) has done a great job with that team and we knew they were going to come back at some point. They went on their run and we hung our heads for a little bit, but as I just talked to them. Life is about resilience. If we were here just for wins and losses, it would be pretty shallow.”
Centennial was up 24-8 at the end of the opening quarter, 39-31 at halftime and 50-44 at the end of the third quarter.
“We let our foot off the pedal in the second quarter,” Centennial’s Hadi El-Miari said. “I think we thought we had it, but they’re a good team.”
Lourdes did manage to get ahead by two in the fourth quarter, but Centennial came back for the win and cemented it with a pair of late free throws by Cameron Powell after the Spartans had missed four consecutive foul shots and Lourdes came up short on a couple of three-point shots.
“We finally hit those two and it kind of gave us a little breathing room,” Conroy said.
Hadi El-Miari led the Spartans with 20 points while Kai Clarke had 11, Davin Ramdath 10, Jake Warywoda nine and Powell eight.
Abraham Kayeye connected for 19 points for Lourdes while Kevin Martinez had 17 and William Vandenheuvel had 11.
Championship combatants Centre Wellington and Centennial met three times during the season – twice in league play and once in a tournament.
“We know each other so well,” Conroy said. “It’s going to be a game. We’ll be there and I’m sure they’ll be there, they’re the two-time champions. They beat us twice in the league and we beat them once so we’ll see what happens.”
“We know exactly what they’re going to do,” El-Miari said. “We’re familiar with them and they’re familiar with us. We’ve just got to be better.”
The Spartans figure that the key for success for them will be playing as a team.
“If we play with five guys on the floor all doing the common goal, we’ll be fine,” Conroy said.
“They’ve got an amazing group of players,” El-Miari set. “Brock Newton, Zach Cudmore – we’ve got to stop those guys and the other guys, too. If we leave them open, they’re going to be shooting the ball, too, so we’ve got to be keying on everybody.”
Both Lourdes and St. James have at least one game left on their season schedule as they’re to meet Tuesday at Lourdes to decide the D10 representative in next week’s CWOSSA AA championship tournament.
The D10 champion will advance to next week’s CWOSSA AAA championship tournament.
Ross 66 Orangeville 54
Daniel Wang hit for 22 points for Ross while Robert Vosper, Dominic Vanos and Gatlang Deng each netted 10.
KeelanSteele led Orangeville with 15 points while Matt Huck collected 10.
Centennial 68 Guelph CVI 48
Centennial jumped ahead early and never looked back as the Spartans led 19-7 at the end of the first quarter, 40-21 at halftime and 56-35 at the end of the third quarter.
Johnny Beaton struck for 20 points for Centennial while Jaylen Phillip had 18, Jackson Davidson 14 and Sebastian Harman-den Hoed added 12.
Kristian Varosi connected for 19 points for GCVI while Jackson Hayes collected 13 and Emerson Milbury and Tennessee Tremain contributed six apiece.
- Guelph Sports Journal