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Friday, December 02, 2016

Follow on Twitter For Updates

I'll be on the road (and in the gym) today, so head over to my Twitter Feed to keep up to date on some of the happenings around CWOSSA basketball on what is a busy weekend!

SJAM Junior Hoopla Tourney - Today

The annual "SJAM Junior Hoopla" Tournament, which is (in my books) arguably the best junior tournament in the region, tips off today at SJAM and Forest Heights.

Annually, this tournament provides a glimpse as to who the top junior teams are -- for the most part, the winner of this tournament has historically gone on to further success in their season, often culminating with a CWOSSA championship.

Here's a look at the first-round games.  Winners play losers in the second round:

SJAM Bracket
SJAM vs. Orangeville
Resurrection vs. WCI
Grand River vs. Assumption
St. Benedict vs. Centennial

FHCI Bracket
Forest Hts. vs. St. David
Bluevale vs. CWDHS
Glenview Park vs. St. Mary's

Eastwood vs. Brantford CI

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Tourney Time! Coming Weekend is Filled with High School Hoops

The start of December usually means an up-tick in tournament play, and this coming weekend is no exception.  I'll detail a few of the Senior Tournaments on the go this weekend; the SJAM "CWOSSA Hoopla" Junior tournament is also set to go, but we'll get to that separately.

Out Of Town in the GTA - SJAM & St. Benedict
Both the SJAM Highlanders and the St. Benedict Saints will be out of town this coming weekend, with the Highlanders travelling to Brampton to again participate in the Campion Showdown.  If you recall, SJAM had an impressive run at last year's tournament, making it all the way to the championship final.

This year, things might be a bit tougher as the two teams in their pool are Brampton Centennial, one of the top teams in ROPSAA, and Brampton Notre Dame, who will play SJAM during the school day on their home floor.

St. Benedict was initially slated to participate at the Campion Showdown as well, but have elected instead to go to the David Preston Memorial Tournament, hosted by Pine Ridge SS.

SBCSS will take on Pickering HS (GTA HM) in their opening game tonight.  A win, and they play either J. Clarke Richardson or Metro Prep, while a loss would pit them against either Notre Dame (Ajax) or Windsor Kennedy.  Hosts Pine Ridge and St. Mary's of Ajax are the other teams in the tournament.

RCSS Invitational
The Resurrection Phoenix are hosted their annual tournament this weekend, which is an 8-team draw with a modified "OFSAA-style" format (winners play losers in the second round).

CWOSSA teams North Park, Centre Wellington, and Guelph Lourdes are in the tournament alongside the host Phoenix, while out-of-town entrants include Christ The King (Georgetown), London Banting, Patrick Fogarty (Orillia) and Dundas Valley (Dundas).

First Round games tomorrow are as follows:
8:30am:  Resurrection vs. Lourdes
10am:  North Park vs. Christ The King
11:30am:  Centre Wellington vs. Banting
2:30pm:  Patrick Fogarty vs. Dundas Valley

Draw (click to enlarge)
Southwood Invitational
Games will be played at both Southwood and Jacob Hespeler tomorrow for the Southwood Invitational, which is a 12-team draw featuring four pools of three.

 8 of the 12 teams are CWOSSA-based (it's Assumption Burlington and not Brantford - FYI), so it should be a good measuring stick for the clubs involved.

The pools are as follows:
Pool A:  Eastwood, Galt, Southwood
Pool B:  Assumption, Ancaster, Woodstock
Pool C:  Grand River, East Elgin, Centre Dufferin
Pool D:  St. James, Cameron Hts., St. John's

The tournament wraps up on Saturday at Southwood, with the championship final at 7:30pm.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Saints Win! SBCSS Takes Heinbuch; First Waterloo Region Team To Do So

For the first time in 33 years, a team from Waterloo Region has captured the annual Heinbuch Classic tournament -- this year, hosted at Conestoga College in Kitchener.

The St. Benedict Saints locked down defensively throughout the weekend, culminating in a 48-34 championship victory over Cardinal Newman (Stoney Creek).

SBCSS got to the final with a 53-39 win over Sarnia Northern, after earlier posting victories over WCI (71-42) and Brantford North Park (57-51).

Zubair Seyed was named as the tournament MVP, while Justin Malnerich received first-team all-star honours.

The Saints weren't the only team from CWOSSA to capture hardware over the weekend, as the Brantford North Park Trojans shook off an 0-2 start to rebound and capture consecutive wins en route to the consolation bracket title.

The Trojans, after their aforementioned loss to St. Benedict, dropped a second-round game to St. Thomas More (48-42) before defeating Adam Scott of Peterborough (58-38) and Waterloo SJAM in the final (63-48).

NPC's Cal Hager received second-team all-star honours.

The remaining 5 CWOSSA teams combined for a 4-12 record at the competitive tournament, as follows (with wins noted):

Resurrection (1-2):  W 77-72 (OT) vs. Eastwood
WCI (1-2): W 60-46 over St. Thomas More
Eastwood (1-2): W 71-59 over SJAM
SJAM (1-3): W 50-42 over Cameron Heights
Cameron Heights (0-3)

The top 20+ scoring outputs by CWOSSA players were:
28 - Zubair Seyed, SBCSS vs. North Park
27 - Ali Rashid, RCSS vs. J. Clarke Richardson 
27 - Kanayo Nnadi, ECI vs. Collingwood
24 - Kanayo Nnadi, ECI vs. Resurrection
21 - Justin Malnerich, SBCSS vs. Sarnia Northern
21 - Filip Popovic, SJAM vs. Cameron Hts.
21 - Antoney Bell, WCI vs. St. Thomas More
20 - Justin Malnerich, SBCSS vs. WCI
20 - Ali Rashid, RCSS vs. Eastwood

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Heinbuch 2016: Saints Have Great Shot To Break Local Drought

From the hunters to the hunted.

Last season, with a core group of grade twelve players, the St. Benedict Saints enjoyed a breakout season that culminated with that group's first District 8 Championship in four tries against the St. Mary's Eagles.

With that mountain now climbed, the Saints have their sights set on bigger goals, and early returns so far this season suggest that St. Benedict may not be a threat locally, but also on the provincial stage as well.

You see, the Saints return almost their entire scoring offense from a season ago --- Zubair Seyed, Justin Malnerich, Evan Rodenburg, Alex Douglas, Lucas Cardoso and Devante Douse --- are all back for a 5th year at St. Benedict.

It looks as though SBCSS is handling their new status as the "hunted" quite well.  This past weekend, at the Holy Trinity Tip-Off, the Saints soundly defeated two GTA teams that were ranked in the GTA's top 10 per HooptownGTA.com; they defeated #10 Brampton Notre Dame 72-34 in pool play, and #4 Brampton Centennial 63-44 in the championship final.

Zubair Seyed was named as the tournament MVP, while SG Justin Malnerich (25 points in the final) was an all-star.

It would appear as though the Saints are a strong contender this weekend at the 33rd annual Heinbuch Classic, which (as many of you know) is named in honour of former Cameron Heights CI coach (from 1969-1985) Court Heinbuch.  Heinbuch led the Gaels to the 1983 OFSAA championship, but passed away two years later as a result of a sudden heart attack.  The tournament lives on in his honour.

St. Benedict is one of six Waterloo Region teams in the field of 16 who are seeking to become Waterloo Region's first-ever Heinbuch champion.  They include Resurrection, WCI, SJAM, Cameron Heights, and Eastwood.

Two CWOSSA schools have previously won the title, St. James (1998) and Brantford Assumption (1999).

I'll give my predictions for CWOSSA teams below, but here's a quick recap of the opening round draw tomorrow (all games @ Conestoga College).  The tourney tips off with two CWOSSA match-ups at 8:45am and 9am respectively:

Top Half of Draw
8:45am - Resurrection vs. Eastwood
10:15am - SJAM vs. Cardinal Newman
11:45am - Cameron Hts. vs. Oakwood
1:30pm - J. Clarke Richardson vs. Collingwood

Lower Half of Draw
9:00am - St. Benedict vs. North Park
10:30am - WCI vs. St. Thomas More (Hamilton)
Noon - St. Roch (Brampton) vs. Sarnia Northern
1:30pm - MacNab (Hamilton) vs. Adam Scott (P'Boro)

CWOSSA Teams / Predictions

Cameron Heights CI / Kitchener
Good news and bad news.  The good news?  CHCI volleyball made OFSAA.  The bad news?  That tournament is this weekend.

As a result, the Gaels will be missing a couple of key players (most notably G Jake Dekker) just like they did last weekend when CHCI went 1-3 at the Resurrection Round Robin.  My understanding is that Lala Shehi also suffered an arm injury last weekend, so I'm not sure of his availability this weekend.

Raghu Podipreddy and Josh Drew will be expected to shoulder a bit more of the offensive load this weekend.

Round 1:  L to Oakwood
Round 2:  L to Collingwood
Consolation Rd. Semis:  L to SJAM

Eastwood CI / Waterloo
Despite a couple of key losses from last year's team, the Rebels appear poised to make a run in WCSSAA -- and possibly this tournament.

Cham Ujullu (Humber College) is no longer with the team, but among their key returnees is are Hanani Ujullu and PG Layee Jabateh, who played up with the senior squad last year as a grade ten.

It's hard for me to officially give my thoughts on ECI, as I haven't received official confirmation on their St. Mary's transfers, notably Tyreak Farquharson and Kanayo Nnadi.  Former GRCI guard Abdei Hamad is also at ECI this season.  Should any/all receive clearance to play this season (they may have already, I'm just not aware of it), that's a huge coup for the Rebels.

Round 1:  L to Resurrection
Round 2:  W vs. SJAM
Bronze Semis:  W vs. Collingwood
Bronze Championship:  W vs. St. Thomas More

North Park CVI / Brantford 
The Trojans are certainly the class of Brantford, as evidenced by their dominance this past weekend at the Ed O'Leary Tip-Off tournament.

NPC took care of city rivals Assumption (53-33) and St. John's (55-36) to capture the tournament title.  Rookie Ethan Andrew appears to have made a seamless transition to the senior ranks, while 6'8" Erik Nurse also played well this past weekend.

The scary thing is that the majority of the Trojan roster is grade eleven, so expect this group to continue to gel and develop as the season progresses.

Round 1:  L to St. Benedict
Round 2:  L to St. Thomas More
Cons. Semis:  W vs. Adam Scott
Cons. Final:  L vs. SJAM

Resurrection CSS / Kitchener
Rez is back at the Heinbuch for the first time in a handful of years, and they do have a strong core of returning players.

G/F Muyang Iluya certainly impressed at the RCSS Round Robin, while PG Ali Rashid has also put up some nice numbers in the early going.  Both have assumed the scoring load left by graduated guard Korbil Gany (UWaterloo/CIS).

F Demar Holness and G/F Jamu Iluya bolster a very athletic Phoenix line-up that doesn't have a ton of size, due in part to the departure of 6'9" Jordan Kenning (3Kings Prep/Windsor).

However, transfer Eddie Omari appears to be a huge boost to the Rez lineup.  Omari, who previously played at Kitchener St. Mary's, has moved back to Kitchener after he was in Thunder Bay for the past couple of seasons, playing with the St. Ignatius team that qualified for "AA" OFSAA.  He's working his way back into the lineup after an early-season injury, but should be a full go this weekend.

If the Phoenix can get past Eastwood in the opening round, they would have a date with one of my tournament favourites, Cardinal Newman (Hamilton) in round two.

Round 1: W vs. Eastwood
Round 2: L vs. Cardinal Newman
Silver Semi: W vs. JC Richardson
Silver Final: L vs. WCI

SJAM / Waterloo
No more "big three", but things aren't that bleak for an SJAM squad that boasts many newcomers from a junior team that captured the previous two CWOSSA titles (save for Dragan Stajic, who opted to go the prep route).

Losing Nedim Hodzic, Justin Hardy and Simon Petrov (all going to Waterloo/CIS) means that there's a lot of offensive shoes to fill, but early returns suggest that returnee Jordan Iwaniuk and shooter Nino Spasik are well equipped to do their part.

Round 1: L vs. Cardinal Newman
Round 2: L vs. Eastwood
Cons. Semis: W vs. Cameron Hts.
Cons. Final: W vs. North Park

St. Benedict / Cambridge 
I've given a bit of a breakdown of the Saints' roster above, so I'll just get right to the predictions with them.  

Round 1:  W vs. North Park
Round 2:  W vs. WCI
Gold Semis: W vs. St. Roch
Championship Final: W vs. Cardinal Newman

WCI / Waterloo
Another veteran-laden club, the Vikes have a handful of 5th year returnees, including Adam Piazza and Aaron Grubb.  On paper, they would appear to be one of the WCSSAA favourites and should be able to pick up some wins this weekend, despite a tough draw.

Round 1:  W vs. St. Thomas More
Round 2:  L vs. St. Benedict
Silver Semis:  W vs. MacNab
Silver Final:  W vs. Resurrection

Overall Commentary
Yes, I picked a CWOSSA team to win each division at the Heinbuch tournament this year -- including a Waterloo Region champion for the first time!  Given how some of the traditional favourites (Oakwood, JC Richardson) have struggled in the early going, it certainly appears possible that a local team -- most likely St. Benedict -- can take home the title.

I'm expecting Cardinal Newman to put up a good run this weekend, with their outstanding guard Maliek Gordon (Heinbuch All-Star last year) back in the fold.  The Cards have already posted some solid wins (including GTA #9 D'Youville).  It would appear as though CN and SBCSS are on a collision course to meet in the final.

Of course, there's always some upsets and things that don't necessarily go as expected.  This year certainly seems to be a bit more "wide open" than in years' previous, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.  Good luck to all teams!

Monday, November 21, 2016

AA: Lourdes, Bishop Mac Take Titles

The D10's dominance at the "AA" CWOSSA tournament continued this past weekend, with a D10 school winning CWOSSA for the 14th straight time in Junior, and the 13th straight time in Senior.

Guelph's Our Lady of Lourdes HS took the Senior "AA" CWOSSA title this weekend, toppling Waterloo St. David by a 59-36 score in the championship final.

The Crusaders weren't significantly threatened throughout the tournament, winning all games by double-digits.  They posted a 35-14 win over Flesherton Grey Highlands in the semifinals.

St. David, meanwhile, posted a heart-stopping 49-48 win over Cambridge Galt CI in the semis.

On the junior side, the Bishop Macdonell Celtics won the final over Cambridge Galt (35-27).  For the first time in a long time (probably dating back to the start of the streak), however, D10's representative did suffer a CWOSSA loss as the Ghosts had earlier defeated Bishop Mac in an overtime pool play game.

Both teams were the class of the tournament, posting big wins in the semifinals.

Bishop Mac defeated Walkerton Sacred Heart, 42-14, while Galt defeated Wellington Heights (Mount Forest) 49-22.

Senior AAA: St. John's Tops Rez for 4th Straight CWOSSA Title

Photo via @SJCEagles / Twitter
In an exciting CWOSSA AAA Senior Girls' final at WCI on Saturday evening, the St. John's Green
Eagles used some timely fourth-quarter made shots to hold off the Resurrection Phoenix, 52-45, winning their fourth consecutive CWOSSA title (AAA/AAAA) in the process.

Both teams started off hot offensively, particularly the Phoenix, who had Sydney Guker-Wickie go two-for-two from three-point range in the opening quarter.  Rez opened up a 12-6 advantage, though the Green Eagles would trim the deficit to just three points (19-16) after one.

SJC took the lead early in the second at 20-19, using consecutive "run-out" opportunities effectively for fast-break baskets.  The Phoenix would stick with them for the rest of the quarter, and it was a 28-27 Green Eagle lead at the half.

The second half saw St. John's gain a "two-possession" advantage in the third quarter, going up by 5.  Every time Rez made a basket, the Green Eagles seemed to respond with one of their own.

SJC couldn't push the lead to double-digits, but they did get a couple crucial three-pointers from star guard Kaitlyn Overeem, who took over in the fourth quarter with a couple of three-pointers and a variety of drives to the hoop.

One of her three-pointers was of particular importance for St. John's, as it stretched a four-point game to seven, and took away some Resurrection momentum.

With the rule changes installed in high school basketball this year (5 team fouls for bonus in a quarter = 2 free throws), Rez only had one team foul with about a minute to go in the game and were unable to manage any sort of "foul fest".

In fact, there was no scoring in the game's final minute.

Overeem was the dominant factor for St. John's, though the Green Eagles did get contributions from up and down their 6 woman rotation.

Overeem finished with an impressive stat-line of 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.  Her points came on an efficient shooting day -- she went 9-for-16 from the floor. 

Only in grade eleven, Overeem is certainly among the top CWOSSA recruits in her class.

Bridget Kwasnik added 9 points, while Sadie Lemmon chipped in with two important fourth quarter free-throws.

Grade ten Christina Emmons did a nice job off the bench for SJC, contributing 7 points and 4 rebounds.

The Phoenix went into the game missing starting forward Delina Romano (family commitment) and 6th woman Megan Fergusson, who was on her NCAA D-1 hockey recruiting visit.

Grade 12 G/F Emily Simmons (who announced her commitment to D1 Wisconsin Green-Bay for soccer later in the weekend) was one of the Phoenix who helped to fill the void.  She had a big fourth-quarter jumper to keep Rez within striking distance and also contributed 5 rebounds and 3 assists. 

Of course, it was the "big three" that did most of the damage for Rez.  Krissia Vasquez led the way with a 15-point performance, including four made three-pointers.

Guker-Wickie (who played beyond her years as a grade ten) added 13 points, while Meghan Sharpe finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.  Buse Bin-Edward chipped in the other 6, adding 6 rebounds. 

The Green Eagles advance to the "AAA" OFSAA tournament, scheduled this coming weekend in Toronto.  Good luck to them!

I'd be remiss if I didn't also congratulate the other teams in the tournament (and throughout CWOSSA) on a fantastic season of basketball.  North Park, Waterloo-Oxford, Jacob Hespeler, and others (at the AAA level) made this one of the most tightly contested seasons in recent memory.  Thank you!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

"AAA" Senior CWOSSA: Why Each Team Has A Chance To Win

For the final CWOSSA preview, I'll change things up a bit.  

If there's one thing that we've seen in CWOSSA Senior Girls' basketball this year, it's that parity has reigned supreme.  

Two of the four "power conferences" (WCSSAA & D10) didn't have an undefeated team, while the St. John's Green Eagles came out of a very deep D5 league having to endure some close victories -- including an OT win in the second game of the championship final against North Park.

For those reasons, and several others, I've come up with reasoning as to why each team can advance to the CWOSSA final this weekend.  Here goes:

St. John's Green Eagles
Why They Can Make The Final:  Experience.

The Green Eagles have tremendous coaching, veteran players that have played in big games before (including last year's OFSAA Gold Medal game), as well as experience in another area -- close games.

SJC played in the deepest league in CWOSSA this season, and had to battle through tough games day in, and day out.  This should serve them well this weekend.

Keep an eye on guard Kaitlyn Overeem, who will be one of the best players in the tournament.

Resurrection Phoenix
Whey They Can Make The Final:  Balance & Guard Play

Guard play is always a key in high school basketball, and the Phoenix have that in spades -- scrappy PG Krissia Vasquez and SG Meghan Sharpe lead the way, while you can also classify grade 10 G/F Sydney Guker-Wickie as a backcourt player.  All three are quite possibly CIS talents.

The Phoenix don't overly rely on one player for their offense, as they've received contributions from all members of the starting five at various points this season.  It could be a key factor in helping them through the weekend.

WCI Vikings
Why They Can Make The Final:  Homecourt Advantage

Sure, the Vikings are a bit of an underdog entering play this weekend, but they do have one thing going for them that no other team in the tournament will have --- all games will be played on their home floor.

Of course, one thing will be making sure that the students stick around for their first game, which doesn't tip off until 3pm on Friday.

Adri Kellerman, Victoria Giguere, and Ramla Abdalla are a trio of Vikes to keep your eye on.

Waterloo-Oxford Crusaders
Why They Can Make The Final:  Confidence

Confidence should be at an all-time high for the Baden Bunch, who have picked up steam through the playoffs.  Their playoff run included a 28-point semifinal win over WCI, as well as a 49-33 win over Jacob Hespeler in the WCSSAA final -- two of the six teams that will be competing this weekend.

The 'Saders have also stacked up fairly well against the top two-ranked teams in the tournament, losing to St. John's by single-digits and being tied with Resurrection into the 3rd quarter before the Phoenix went on a scoring run and won.

Grade 12 G/F Emily Glendinning leads the charge for WODSS, although Mackeely Shantz has been shouldering the scoring load in their playoff run.  Shantz averaged 17.6 PPG through WO's playoff run.

Rachael Beitz and Madeline Woolvett are also key to the W-O attack.

Jacob Hespeler Hawks
Why They Can Make The Final:  The Draw

Sure, the Jacob Hespeler Hawks have the unenviable position of being in a pool with two teams that have been at the top of CWOSSA throughout the season -- St. John's and Resurrection.

That said, if there's a silver-lining, just one JHSS upset in pool play could let them end up with a semifinal game against (probably) Waterloo-Oxford or WCI, two teams that they've seen throughout their season and know that they can beat.

Charlotte Clifford, Sonja Matthews, Carlie Riggan and Maddy Adams have been the Hawks' big performers of late.

Guelph CVI Gaels
Why They Can Make The Final:  The Darkhorse/Being Overlooked

The Gaels are certainly the "darkhorse" of the tournament, entering with a 7-5 final record in D10 play.

Despite that mark, the Gaels certainly have the capability to compete, as referenced by a 38-35 league win over the eventual D10 champions, Lourdes.

For Gael fans, I'll use the "flip side of the coin" argument as JHSS above.  GCVI benefits from not being in the same pool as St. John's and Resurrection, which increases their chances at making the semifinal --- where, in a one-game scenario, anything can happen.

Emina Bektic, Kristen Kohlmeier, and Abbey MacIntyre are among their key contributors.

I'm certainly curious to see how St. John's and Resurrection stack up in their rematch, which is the first game on the docket at 9am.  Both teams were missing a couple of key components last time around (a game which Rez won).

Pool A:  St. John's 2-0, Resurrection 1-1, Jacob Hespeler 0-2
Pool B:  WODSS 2-0, WCI 1-1, Guelph CVI 0-2

Semifinals:  Resurrection over WODSS; St. John's over WCI

Championship Final:  St. John's 47, Resurrection 42

"AAA" Junior CWOSSA: Tomorrow/Saturday in Waterloo

This should be good.

The three top "AAA" CWOSSA Junior teams -- Brantford Collegiate, Orangeville DSS, and the KCI Raiders -- have all qualified for CWOSSA this weekend.

All three were first-place finishers during the regular season in their respective leagues, with BCI & KCI also taking home playoff crowns (ODSS lost a 2-point heartbreaker to Bishop Mac in the D10 final).

The other three teams joining them -- and hoping to play the role of spoiler -- will be St. Benedict CSS, Owen Sound DSS, and Waterloo SJAM.

Friday's games will be played at SJAM, with the Saturday semifinals and finals going at Waterloo Collegiate.

Schedule Link:  http://scorestop.com/cgi-bin/scores/sportCustom.cgi?divisionID=664&seasonID=88

With excellent guard capability, the BCI Mustangs look like slight favourites to capture their second consecutive title.  Jordi Clark, Paige Bradshaw, and Lindsay Bannucchi all had strong outings against St. John's in the D5 title game, and will be looking to carry that over to the CWOSSA championship.

Orangeville DSS and the KCI Raiders are the other two teams that I project as championship contenders.  

For ODSS, Lauren Foullong is a gifted player on both ends of the floor, but particularly on the offensive end.  She has great range on her jumper, and also has great ability to create space to get off shots -- including a nice "step-back" off the dribble.  Maggie Franz is their second option offensively, although the Bears have seen several players hit double-figures at various times during the season, including the D10 finals where Shannon Baggs had 12.

KCI rolled through the WCSSAA league and might be one of the sharper teams entering play on Friday, given that they just played their league championship on Tuesday.  Grace Mickie, Natalie Armatage, Maggie McLean, and Mikaela White, are the main offensive scoring threats for the Raiders.

Owen Sound is an interesting "darkhorse", given that they defeated a WCSSAA semifinalist (Waterloo-Oxford) in the CWOSSA play-in game.  Unfortunately for OSDSS, they're in a pool with the above two teams (ODSS/KCI) but, as we know, anything can happen in a one-game scenario.

The SJAM Highlanders, who played the Raiders tough during their regular season meeting, are hosting the tournament's pool games, which is certainly an advantage for them.  The 'Landers will be in a pool with Brantford CI and the District 8's representative, St. Benedict.  Key players to watch for those teams include Olivia Moreau, Claire Strong & Sarah Hardy (SJAM) as well as Trinity Lombardi and Angie Tran (SBCSS).

Pool A:  Brantford CI 2-0; SJAM 1-1; St. Benedict 0-2
Pool B:  Orangeville DSS 2-0; KCI 1-1; Owen Sound 0-2

Semifinals:  Brantford CI over KCI; Orangeville over SJAM

Championship Final:  Brantford CI over Orangeville 

"AA" Senior CWOSSA - Tomorrow/Saturday in Paris

For the first time since 2003, the CWOSSA region will be sending a team other than Bishop Macdonell to the OFSAA "AA" tournament.

The Celtics, who had won the last 12 titles, were defeated 56-52 by rival Our Lady of Lourdes in the D10 championship game.  With both schools being "AA", Lourdes received the league's lone CWOSSA berth.

Lourdes, who was also the D10's regular season champion, will enter as prohibitive favourites to win the tournament.

Like the junior tournament, the team with the best chance of knocking them off may come from their own pool -- the Galt Ghosts.  The Ghosts feature Beth Fleming, one of the better players in the CWOSSA region.  Fleming has put up some big numbers and kept the Ghosts in some games against the upper-echelon teams in the WCSSAA region.

Also joining Galt and Lourdes in Pool "B" will be Holy Trinity (Simcoe) from NSSAA.

Grey Highlands (BAA), Wellington Heights (D4) and St. David (D8) comprise the teams in Pool "A".

Schedule Link:  http://scorestop.com/cgi-bin/scores/sportCustom.cgi?divisionID=662&seasonID=88

Pool A Projection:  St. David 2-0; Grey Highlands 1-1; Wellington Hts. 0-2

Pool B Projection:  Lourdes 2-0; Galt 1-1; Holy Trinity 0-2

Semifinal Projections:  Lourdes over Grey Highlands; Galt over St. David

Championship Final Projection:  Lourdes over Galt 

"AA" Junior CWOSSA - Tomorrow & Saturday in Brantford/Paris

The "AA" Junior Girls' CWOSSA tournament tips off tomorrow at Pauline Johnson CVI in Brantford.

All pool games will be at PJCVS, while Saturday's semifinal and championship final will go at Paris DHS.

Guelph's Bishop Macdonell will be looking to capture their 3rd straight title, and continue the D10's league streak -- BMAC or Lourdes have combined to win the last 13 "AA" CWOSSA Junior titles.

The team with the best chance of knocking off the Celtics, WCSSAA's Galt Ghosts, are actually in the same pool.  The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinal (cross-over) round, with the winners meeting in the final.

Here are the teams, with regular season record in brackets:

Pool A
Sacred Heart (Walkerton; 5-3 BAA)
St. David (Waterloo; 4-6 D8)
Wellington Hts. (Mt. Forest; 10-0 D4)

Pool B
Galt CI (Cambridge; 11-1 WCSSAA)
Bishop Macdonell (Guelph; 13-1 D10)
Simcoe DSS (Simcoe; 6-1 NSSAA)

Schedule Link:  http://scorestop.com/cgi-bin/scores/sportCustom.cgi?divisionID=662&seasonID=88

Pool "A" should be quite interesting.  Wellington Heights and St. David look to be the two teams with the best chance of advancing -- although I'm not sure on who might win their head-to-head match-up.  WHSS doesn't have a lot of offensive firepower, but is one of the best defensive teams in the CWOSSA region.

Pool "B", on the other end, should be fairly straightforward.  The Galt Ghosts and the Bishop Macdonell Celtics, should both be able to defeat Simcoe and secure semifinal berths.  Given that this is the projected final, it will be interesting to see how both coaches handle their pool game.  I'll take the Celtics to finish atop the pool with a 2-0 record.

Pool A Projection:  St. David 2-0; Wellington Hts. 1-1; Sacred Heart 0-2

Pool B Projection:  Bishop Mac 2-0; Galt CI 1-1; Simcoe CS 0-2

Semifinal Projections:  Galt over St. David; Bishop Mac over Wellington Hts.

Championship Final:  Bishop Mac over Galt

"A" CWOSSA - Tomorrow in Waterford

The "A" CWOSSA tournament, a four-team affair, will take place tomorrow in Waterford.

On the junior side, the four qualifying teams are Walkerton DCS (BAA), Peninsula Shores (BAA), Woodland CHS (D8) and Delhi DSS (D9).

The senior foursome also features two BAA teams -- Kincardine and Peninsula Shores, along with PRDG (D8) and Delhi DSS (D9).

Junior Draw - Single Elimination
9am (Semifinal):  Walkerton vs. Delhi
10:30am (Semifinal):  Woodland vs. PSDS

3pm - Final

Senior Draw - Single Elimination
Noon (Semifinal):  Kincardine vs. Delhi
1:30pm (Semifinal):  PRDG vs. PSDS

5pm - Final

On the junior side, Woodland CHS would appear to be the team to beat, going undefeated through District 8 regular season and playoff play.

I'll give the slight edge in the other semifinal to Delhi DSS, with the Cavs taking the final.

Junior Semifinal Winners:  Delhi & Woodland
Junior Champion:  Woodland 

On the senior side, Kincardine DSS is a very strong team.  In the regular season, they scored 272 points while giving up just 75 in six league games.  The playoffs were no different, as they included a 25-point semifinal win over Owen Sound, and a 48 (!) point championship final victory over Grey Highlands.

PRDG was competitive in the District 8 league, losing by single-digits to several of the "AAA" schools.  It will be interesting to see how they stack up, but on paper it would appear as though KDSS has too much firepower.

Senior Semifinal Winners:  Kincardine & PRDG
Senior Champion:  Kincardine

The Record: KCI and Waterloo-Oxford Win Girls' Basketball Titles

Article By:  Mark Bryson

CAMBRIDGE — Natalie Armatage felt the weight that goes along with increased expectations. 

The KCI Raiders captured their second straight Waterloo County junior girls' high school basketball championship Tuesday night — this time as overwhelming favourites — with a 45-26 win over the Galt Ghosts. 

The Raiders defeated the Waterloo-Oxford Crusaders last year as decided underdogs and Armatage said the most recent win felt very different because of that. 

"I felt a bit more pressure coming into this game, to be honest. Last year, we had nothing to lose, so we just went out, played hard and won," she said. "This year, we had more weight on our shoulders coming in as the No. 1 seed. But we handled it well." 

Indeed, they did.

Armatage led the way with a game-high 16 points, as the Raiders jumped out to a 19-4 lead at Preston High School. They only briefly had to look into the rear-view mirror when the Ghosts narrowed the gap to eight points, 30-22, at the midway point of the third quarter. 

Mikaela White added 14 points for the Raiders, Emily Smith and Grace Mickie both added seven. 

Maggie McLean had a strong defensive game. 

Charlie Ridge had eight points for Galt and Azaliah Colquhoun had six. 

The Raiders finished the WCSSAA portion of their season with a 15-0 record, including a 48-20 win over the Ghosts during the regular season. Galt finished at 13-2, with both losses coming to KCI. 

Both teams advance to Central Western Ontario tournaments later this week. KCI moves on to CWOSSA triple-A tournament in Waterloo, along with St. Benedict, Sir John A. Macdonald, Brantford Collegiate, Orangeville District, and either Waterloo-Oxford or Owen Sound. 

"Hopefully we can medal this year," said Armatage. "We came up short in the semifinals last year, so we'll try to change that." 

Galt advances to the CWOSSA double-A championship in Paris and Brantford. 

Later in the evening, the Waterloo-Oxford cruised to their first WCSSAA senior title since 2013, with a 49-33 win over the Jacob Hespeler Hawks. 

Rachael Beitz, MacKeely Shantz and Madeline Woolvett led the Crusaders with 15, 12 and 10 points respectively, in front of a boisterous pro-Hawks crowd. 

The Crusaders led 16-3 after the first quarter, 27-11 at halftime, and 37-23 after three quarters. 

Charlotte Clifford scored 16 for Jacob Hespeler, Amy Claydon had seven and Carlie Riggan had six.
Jacob Hespeler (13-2) handed Waterloo-Oxford (14-1) its only loss of the season, a 43-37 decision on Oct. 27. 

Both teams advance to the CWOSSA triple-A tournament, along with the District 8 champion Resurrection Phoenix, Guelph Collegiate, Brantford St. John's, and Waterloo Collegiate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

CWOSSA "AAA" Qualification Update

Senior Girls
D8 - Resurrection
WCSSAA (2) - Jacob Hespeler & WODSS
WCSSAA/BAA - Winner of WCI vs. Owen Sound
D5 - St. John's
D10 - Guelph CVI

Junior Girls
D8 - St. Benedict
WCSSAA/BAA - Winner of WODSS vs. Owen Sound
D5 - Brantford CI
D10 - Orangeville DSS