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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Northwest Desert Classic: WCI Finishes 3-2 in Arizona

The WCI Vikings did not lose a single game in regulation during their trip to the Northwest Desert Classic in Arizona.

Unfortunately for the Vikes, that's because two of their games went to OT and ended up in the loss column during their trip south of the border.  Nevertheless, WCI finished up the trip with a 3-2 record and captured the "third place championship" on Thursday morning in Arizona.

WCI's first game back on Tuesday was against La Mirada (a suburb of Los Angeles) High School.  WCI led that game by 4 points late in the contest but two key three pointers down the stretch and some missed foul shots by the Vikings allowed the game to end up 41-41 at the end of regulation.

In the extra frame, WCI ran out of gas (possibly as a result of the altitude) and lost by a 49-42 final.  Jacob Ranton (16 PTS, 6 REB) and Alex Copp (11 PTS, 7 REB) were WCI's top players on Tuesday.

The loss put WCI behind the "8-ball" so to speak, as their second game was against a talented Poston Butte squad, who feature 6'9" Arizona State signee Maurice Kirby, as well as another player with D-1 capabilities, guard Jalen Richard.

Though the Vikes trailed 17-9 after one quarter, they battled back to take a 1-point lead by the fourth quarter.  Late in the game, WCI trailed by 2 but Adam Anagnostopoulos was able to break down his defender and feed Zach Totzke who made a contested layup as time expired to tie things up at 51-51.

However, overtime was again WCI's nemesis as they dropped the game (63-60) after the extra session.  Ranton again led the way (20 PTS, 5 REB) while Copp added 13 points and 8 rebounds.

WCI rebounded to close out pool play with a victory, 49-33 over Tucson Sunnyside.  Ranton (17 PTS, 7 REB) and Copp (16 PTS, 6 REB) were again tops on the scoresheet.

La Mirada went on to win the pool (2-1) while Poston Butte was also 2-1 and WCI and Sunnyside 1-2.  Ties were broken based upon "head to head" games, so WCI was awarded third place in the pool.

This placed the Vikes in the "third place bracket" with the other three teams who finished third in their pools.

Their semifinal game was against Desert Christian from Tucson and, in a grinding affair, the Vikes took a 39-35 win thanks to strong play from Copp (16 PTS, 6 REB) and Anagnostopoulos (6 PTS, 4 REB).  In addition, Alex Despotovic hit a buzzer-beating three pointer to give WCI a 5 point lead to end the first half.

In the championship game of the third-place bracket, WCI was up against Mesa (AZ) Westwood High School.  It was an extremely tough battle in the early going, with both teams playing great defense --- the score was 4-4 after the first!  However, as the game wore on, the Vikes executed well against Westwood's half-court pressure and were able to pull away in the fourth quarter en route to a 34-22 final.

Anagnostopoulos led the way for WCI with 10 points and 7 rebounds, while grade 11 forward Malcolm Piazza had 8 points and 4 rebounds.

Overall, WCI co-coach Craig Nickel was pleased with his team's effort down south.

"The basketball part of this trip has seen some extremely positive developments for us as individual players and as a team, and we'll hope to carry this momentum back with us when we return to WCSSAA league play (this week)," said Nickel.

The Vikings first league game after the break will be on Thursday (January 6th) at 3:30pm at home against one of the most improved teams in the WCSSAA league this season, the Glenview Park Panthers.  This will be an important game for the Vikes, as the "Elmira Bye Win" is next on their schedule and would give WCI a solid 5-3 record heading into a key matchup with Grand River on January 13th.

UWO Tournament: St. James Tops Resurrection in 4 OTs

Though nothing more than pride was on the line this morning in a championship side "friendly" game, the St. James Lions and Resurrection Phoenix left it all on the floor as they battled through FOUR overtimes, with St. James emerging victorious by a 57-54 final.

The win did not come without controversy, however, as Resurrection was "shorted" 2 points on the scoreboard that would have gone a long way towards an RCSS victory.  The error went uncorrected.

The Lions now have victories over Bluevale and Resurrection on their seeding resume for CWOSSA and (potentially) OFSAA, although both losing clubs were without their respective 2009-10 league MVPs during those games (Stefan Cvrkalj - BCI, Andrew Mwangi - RCSS).  Mwangi did not suit up today due to injury sustained in yesterday's action.

Keegan O'Connor (St. James) was named the player of the game.

----------
North Park tops Lourdes

Meanwhile, in another all-CWOSSA friendly, North Park defeated Guelph Lourdes 53-42 backed by a strong performance from Cale McDonald.

UWO First Round: St. James 58, St. Thomas Aquinas (Oakville) 49

The St. James Lions used a 14-4 third quarter to help put away an OFSAA "AA" medalist from last year, the Oakville St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders, by a 58-49 final.

The first half was close throughout --- St. James closed on a 9-3 run after taking a timeout with the score in their favour at 20-19.  Ryan Higgins drilled a three-pointer at the end of the first half to give St. James a 29-22 halftime advantage.

The Lions would extend the lead to close to 20 points before the long ball of the Raiders started to pay off down the stretch.  Will Coulthard hit an "and-one" three-pointer with just over 2:00 to play, cutting the St. James lead down to 49-41.  However, solid foul shooting by Higgins down the stretch helped off-set a couple more Coulthard three-pointers in the closing minute of the game.

Coulthard finished with a game-high 23 points for the Raiders, while Higgins had 21 for the Lions.

Boxscore

STJ     14-15-14-15 = 58
STAQ 09-13-04-23 = 49

St. James
S. Furfaro           1-4 FG, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb, 0 Ast - 2 Pts.
R. Higgins       6-10 FG, 8-10 FT, 8 Reb, 3 Ast - 21 Pts.
K. Babol            1-3 FG, 0-1 FT, 5 Reb, 1 Ast - 2 Pts.
A. Campagnolo 6-11 FG, 4-7 FT, 3 Reb, 1 Ast - 16 Pts.
J. Marleau           2-6 FG, 3-4 FT, 6 Reb, 1 Ast - 7 Pts.
------------
M. Marquis         2-2 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 1 Ast - 4 Pts.
D. Linwood         0-2 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 Reb, 2 Ast - 0 Pts.
N. Pellizzari         1-2 FG, 0-0 FT, 0 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.
R. Kinga              2-3 FG, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb 0 Ast - 4 Pts.
K. McCormack   0-1 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 1 Ast - 0 Pts.
L. McCormack    0-1 FG, 0-0 FT, 0 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.

Field Goals:  21-45 (.467).  Free Throws:  15-22 (.681).  Three-Point Goals:  1-8 (.125):  R. Higgins 1-3, J. Marleau 0-1, D. Linwood 0-2, N. Furfaro 0-2.

St. Thomas Aquinas (Oakville)
T. Meagher        2-6 FG, 0-0 FT, 5 Reb, 0 Ast - 4 Pts.
D. Thompson  6-18 FG, 2-2 FT, 5 Reb, 3 Ast - 15 Pts.
B. LeClaire        0-2 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.
W. Coulthard     8-20 FG, 2-2 FT, 3 Reb, 3 Ast - 23 Pts.
C. Franko          2-3 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 0 Ast - 4 Pts.
--------------
E. Anderson       0-4 FG, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb, 1 Ast - 0 Pts.
J. Sasso             0-2 FG, 0-0 FT, 0 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.
A. Chown          1-1 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 0 Ast - 3 Pts.

Field Goals:  19-56 (.339).  Free Throws:  4-4 (1.000).  Three-Point Goals:  7-23 (.304).

UWO Championship QF: Phoenix Drop OT Heartbreaker

The Resurrection Phoenix had their way with Saltfleet SS (Hamilton Public) on Wednesday morning.

Their afternoon opponent, Sarnia Northern, proved to be a much tougher opponent.

Resurrection was able to rotate their entire lineup through in their morning matchup, which saw Rez down Saltfleet 60-33.  The Phoenix were able to contain 6'5" forward Brett Sanders, while crisp ball movement led to open shots.  Big-men Mike Pereira, Stephen Cordle and Cory Kenning were able to establish themselves inside against the (generally) undersized Storm front line.

The highlight of the game, though, didn't come from the Phoenix.  After Tyler Schneider drilled a three-pointer with a couple seconds left in the first half (making the score 36-20), Saltfleet inbounded the ball and heaved up a buzzer-beating effort from around their own three-point line which banked in!  However, the Storm couldn't use that momentum into the second half as Rez clamped down defensively to win by nearly 30.

In the afternoon affair, the Phoenix jumped out quickly on Sarnia Northern, taking a 27-19 halftime lead.  However, the Vikings had cut that down to a 1-point game (40-39) entering the fourth quarter, where things took a turn for the worse for Resurrection fans.

Firstly, starting forward Cam Gibbs fouled out with about 7:00 to play, and then fellow starter Andrew Mwangi stepped on a Northern player on a rebound and injured his ankle (he did not return to the game).  

Northern took a one-point lead late in the game when (with under :10 to play) Rez had possession and a chance for the win.  Though a Tyler Schneider three-pointer was partially blocked, Rez forward Cory Kenning was fouled on that same play while trying to get to the ball.  He made the first, but missed the second and, after the Phoenix had one last chance in regulation, the game went to OT.

In an exciting (albeit low scoring) extra period, the Phoenix opened up a 53-50 lead, but Northern rebounded to take a 55-53 edge with under :30 to play.  Rez's Mike Pereira was fouled, converting an "and-one" to give the lead back to the Phoenix (56-55).  However, Northern came right back and Jon Ravenhorst got his own "and one" just a few seconds later, converting the free throw to give Northern a 58-56 edge with :14 left.

Unfortunately for the Phoenix, they did not even get a shot off in the final seconds and fell by that two-point margin.

Pereira (double-double with 10 reobunds) and Schneider had 12 each for Resurrection, while Mwangi also hit double digits (10) before leaving with his injury.  6-foot-4 forward Stephen Cordle was solid off the bench, chipping in 8 points and 7 rebounds.

For Northern, Carter Winberg had a game-high 15 points, and Mike Girling added 13 off the bench.

The Vikings advance to today's championship semifinals, where they will play AN Myer (Niagara Falls).  Myer defeated the other CWOSSA club on the championship side of the bracket, Guelph St. James.

Boxscore

RCSS    18-09-13-10-06 = 56
SNOR   13-06-20-11-08 = 58

Resurrection
J. Rodrigues    1-2 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 Reb, 0 Ast - 2 Pts.
C. Gibbs         2-6 FG, 1-2 FT, 2 Reb, 0 Ast - 7 Pts.
M. Pereira      5-9 FG, 2-4 FT, 10 Reb, 1 Ast - 12 Pts.
A. Mwangi     4-10 FG, 1-1 FT, 9 Reb, 2 Ast - 10 Pts.
T. Schneider   2-12 FG, 6-9 FT, 5 Reb, 2 Ast - 12 Pts.
------------
J. Moi            0-1 FG, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb, 2 Ast - 0 Pts.
J. Chris          0-2 FG, 1-2 FT, 6 Reb, 1 Ast - 1 Pt.
C. Kenning    0-2 FG, 1-2 FT, 1 Reb, 0 Ast - 1 Pt.
S. Cordle       4-5 FG, 0-2 FT, 7 Reb, 0 Ast - 8 Pts.
J. Keil            1-3 FG, 0-0 FT, 0 Reb, 0 Ast - 3 Pts.

Field Goals:  19-52 (.365).  Free-Throws:  12-20 (.600).  Three-Point Goals:  6-20 (.300):  C. Gibbs 2-4, T. Schneider 2-8, A. Mwangi 1-3, J. Keil 1-3, M. Pereira 0-1, J. Moi 0-1.

Sarnia Northern
C. Winberg     4-11 FG, 7-10 FT, 4 Reb, 2 Ast - 15 Pts.
R. Souala        2-5 FG, 1-3 FT, 1 Reb, 3 Ast - 5 Pts.
J. Ravenhorst   3-9 FG, 3-9 FT, 4 Reb, 1 Ast - 11 Pts.
T. Dowding     2-10 FG, 0-2 FT, 3 Reb, 1 Ast - 6 Pts.
B. Dafoe         2-3 FG, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb, 0 Ast - 4 Pts.
-----------
M. Girling        5-11 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 1 Ast - 13 Pts.
R. Hardick       0-0 FG, 1-2 FT, 2 Reb, 0 Ast - 1 Pt.
Q. Dowding     0-2 FG, 0-0 FT, 4 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.
J. Burns           0-0 FG, 0-0 FT, 0 Reb, 1 Ast - 0 Pts.

Field Goals:  18-49 (.367).  Free Throws:  12-26 (.462).  Three-Point Goals:  7-17 (.412):  M. Girling 3-7, J. Ravenhorst 2-3, T. Dowding 2-5, C. Winberg 0-1, Q. Dowding 0-1.

UWO Consolation QF: London Banting 62, Lourdes 36

The Lourdes Crusaders hung around early, but the hometown Banting Broncos were too much in the second half of this one as they cruised to a 62-36 victory yesterday evening at the University of Western Ontario's Alumni Hall.

Lourdes' Mike Finoro got off to a quick start shooting the ball, as he almost hit for double digits in the first quarter alone.  However, it was Banting's 6'3" veteran (Grade 12R) forward Greg Morrow whose physicality on the boards and soft hands inside helped Banting take a 33-24 halftime edge.

The second half was all Banting as they went on a 14-5 third quarter run to break the game open before outscoring Lourdes 15-7 in the final 8:00 for the final margin.  

Finoro finished with a game-high 17 points, while forward Ben King had an efficient effort for Lourdes, scoring 8 points on 4-for-5 shooting (he also added 5 rebounds and 2 assists).  

Banting received 15 points off the bench --- on 5 three-pointers --- from guard Will Gonser.  Greg Morrow finished with a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Speaking of three-point shooting, that was a huge difference in this one as Lourdes shot just 3-for-24 behind the arc while the Broncos shot over 70% (8-for-11) from deep.

Lourdes was without the services of grade 11 guard Chris Watson, and definitely could have used him on the offensive end in this one.

The Broncos will take on Barrie St. Joseph's in a consolation semifinal (12:00 noon - Alumni Hall).  Lourdes (0-2 on Wednesday) will battle fellow CWOSSA school Brantford North Park in a consolation friendly game (10:30am - Alumni).

Boxscore

OLOL  14-10-05-07 = 36
BANT  19-14-14-15 = 62

Lourdes
M. Finoro   6-16 FG, 3-5 FT, 3 Reb, 2 Ast - 17 Pts.
J. Trimble    1-8 FG, 0-1 FT, 2 Reb, 1 Ast - 3 Pts.
S. Peru        0-3 FG, 1-3 FT, 4 Reb, 2 Ast - 1 Pt.
B. King       4-5 FG, 0-0 FT, 5 Reb, 2 Ast - 8 Pts.
T. Fraser     1-9 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 Reb, 0 Ast - 2 Pts.
----------
M. Raab      1-5 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 Reb, 0 Ast - 2 Pts.
L. O'Regan  0-0 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.
M. Vielma   0-0 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 1 Ast - 0 Pts.
A. Joaquim  1-5 FG, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb, 0 Ast - 2 Pts.
L. Fran        0-1 FG, 0-0 FT, 0 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.
T. Peru        0-1 FG, 1-2 FT, 1 Reb, 0 Ast - 1 Pt.
J. Allera       0-0 FG, 0-0 FT, 0 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.

Field Goals:  14-53 (.264).  Free-Throws:  5-11 (.454).  Three-Point Goals:  3-24 (.125):  M. Finoro 2-9, J. Trimble 1-6, M. Raab 0-1, A. Joaquim 0-1, L. Fran 0-1, S. Peru 0-2, T. Fraser 0-4.

Banting
G. Morrow    5-8 FG, 1-2 FT, 10 Reb, 4 Ast - 11 Pts.
S. Morrow     2-5 FG, 2-5 FT, 9 Reb, 3 Ast - 6 Pts.
J. Field           1-2 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 2 Ast - 3 Pts.
J. Forbes        1-5 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 Reb, 1 Ast - 2 Pts.
H. Syed          4-10 FG, 0-0 FT, 4 Reb, 1 Ast - 9 Pts.
----------
W. Gonser     5-7 FG, 0-2 FT, 0 Reb, 0 Ast - 15 Pts.
T. Fischer       1-4 FG, 0-0 FT, 3 Reb, 1 Ast - 2 Pts.
T. Poor           3-3 FG, 2-2 FT, 1 Reb, 0 Ast - 9 Pts.
M. Gruninger  2-2 FG, 1-2 FT, 0 Reb, 1 Ast - 5 Pts.
N. Hallett       0-0 FG, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb, 0 Ast - 0 Pts.
J. Moniz         0-0 FG, 0-0 FT, 1 Reb, 1 Ast - 0 Pts.

Field Goals:  24-46 (.522).  Free-Throws:  6-13 (.462).  Three-Point Goals:  8-11 (.727):  W. Gonser 5-7, J. Field 1-1, H. Syed 1-1, T. Poor 1-1, T. Fischer 0-1.

CWOSSA Teams Struggle at Purple & White Tournament

At the 53rd annual "Purple and White" 16-team senior boys basketball tournament at the University of Western Ontario, all four CWOSSA teams (Resurrection, Lourdes, North Park and St. James) were defeated in 2nd round championship or consolation side action.

We were at today's games, and will have some additional boxscores and information in the next day or so.  However, here's how the scores shook down:

First Round
St. Christopher (Sarnia) 54, London Banting 52
Resurrection 60, Saltfleet 33
Sarnia Northern 57, London Catholic Central 55 (OT)
Cardinal Newman 46, Our Lady of Lourdes 31
St. Thomas Aquinas (London) 49, North Park 30
Loyola (Oakville) 73, St. Joseph's (Barrie) 49
St. James 58, St. Thomas Aquinas (Oakville) 49
AN Myer (Niagara Falls) 59, Burlington Notre Dame 46

Second Round - Consolation
Saltfleet 59, Catholic Central 50
St. Thomas Aquinas (Oakville) 60, Burlington Notre Dame 49
London Banting 62, Our Lady of Lourdes 36
St. Joseph's (Barrie) 51, North Park 25

Semifinals:
Saltfleet vs. STA
Banting vs. St. Joseph's

Second Round - Championship
Sarnia Northern 58, Resurrection 56 (OT)
AN Myer 53, St. James 43
Oakville Loyola 89, London St. Thomas Aquinas 41
St. Christopher 68, Cardinal Newman 56

Semifinals: 
Northern vs. AN Myer
Loyola vs. St. Christopher

....although no CWOSSA teams are in the semifinals, all 4 CWOSSA teams will "match up" in the friendly games tomorrow.  Resurrection will play St. James (9am, Alumni Hall) while North Park and Lourdes will match up in a consolation side friendly game at 10:30.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

WCI To Face Some Talent in Arizona

The WCI Vikings are sure to get two things during their upcoming trip to Arizona over the holidays:  some warm weather, and some experience against some good competition.

WCI is in the "Rattler Pool" with La Mirada (California), Poston Butte and Tucson Sunnyside.

Of those teams, Poston Butte would appear to be the toughest squad in the pool.  They feature 6'9" F/C Maurice Kirby (pictured), a sophomore who has already committed to Arizona State.  He's averaging about 13 PPG and 13 RPG on the season, but isn't even their leading scorer.  That would be another sophomore, 6'2" G/F Jalen Richard, who is equally as good as a slasher as he is a shooter; he's averaging around 20 PPG.

The team's website is:  http://www.pbhsboysbasketball.com/

Meanwhile, WCI's first opponent, La Mirada (CA) features a 6'3", 299 lb. monster in the middle by the name of Isaac Luatua.  Luatua was La Mirada's leading scorer and rebounder last year, and is also a beast on the football field as an offensive lineman.  In fact, he was heavily recruited and has committed to the University of Alabama for football.

We'll keep you updated on the Vikes' progress throughout the week.  For more details on the tournament, check out http://www.northwestdesertclassic.com/.

Correction - WCSSAA All-Stars

My apologies to WCI's 6'2" 5th year guard Alex Copp, whom I mistakenly left off the second-team WCSSAA midseason all-stars list.

The list was to include (at least) one player from each of the top 8 teams (SJAM, BCI, FHCI, GRCI, SSS, KCI, CHCI and WCI) and then the remaining spots were to be filled in accordingly.

Copp has a solid skill-set and his early-season play has attracted the attention of several university coaches.  He currently leads the Vikes in scoring and is averaging double-figures in scoring during WCSSAA play.

He and the rest of the Vikings will be participating in the Tucson "Northwest Desert Classic" next week.  WCI's first game will be against La Mirada (a suburb of Los Angeles) High School.

The Vikings are also scheduled to do battle against Poston Butte HS (San Tan Valley, AZ) and Sunnyside HS out of Tucson.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Overall CWOSSA Top 10

This will be a regular feature throughout the second half of the season.  Here's the preliminary ranking as of the Christmas break:

Junior Boys
1.  Bishop Macdonell (Guelph) - AA
2.  St. Mary's (Kitchener) - AAAA
3.  Cameron Heights (Kitchener) - AAAA
4.  Forest Heights (Kitchener) - AAAA
5.  St. John's (Brantford) - AAAA
6.  JF Ross (Guelph) - AAAA
7.  North Park (Brantford) - AAA
8.  St. James (Guelph) - AAA
9.  Centre Wellington (Fergus) - AAAA
10.  Eastwood (Kitchener) - AAAA

HM:  Grand River (Kitchener), Resurrection (Kitchener), Bluevale (Waterloo).

Senior Boys
T1.  Resurrection (Kitchener) - AAAA
T1.  St. Mary's (Kitchener) - AAAA
3.  SJAM (Waterloo) - AAAA
4.  Bluevale (Waterloo) - AAAA
5.  Cameron Heights (Kitchener) - AAAA
6.  Forest Heights (Kitchener) - AAAA
7.  JF Ross (Guelph) - AAAA
8.  St. James (Guelph) - AAA
9.  North Park (Brantford) - AAA
T10.  St. David (Waterloo) - AAA
T10.  St. John's (Brantford) - AAAA

HM:  Grand River (Kitchener), Centennial (Guelph)

Senior: WCSSAA at the Halfway Point

We've reached the 6 game mark (for most teams, anyways) in the WCSSAA league, so it's time to take a quick look at the league to this point in the season.

Firstly, an interesting note is that several teams have made significant strides from a season ago.  Already, three teams have equalled or bettered their win totals from 2009-10.  Yes, several teams may have benefitted from an extra win against "Elmira", but again, keep in mind we are only 6 games into the season.

Here's a quick look at those teams who have already accumulated at least 67% of last year's wins:

"At or Better than 2009-10"
Huron Heights (1-11 last year):  2-4 this season
Eastwood (2-10 last year):  2-4 this season
Glenview Park (2-10 last year):  2-4 this season

"Getting Close"
Grand River (5-7 last year):  4-2 this season
Waterloo-Oxford (4-9 last year):  3-3 this season
Galt (3-9 last year):  2-3 this season
Forest Heights (7-5 last year):  5-0 this season

All of the teams that are "at or better than 2009-10" have improved primarily through solid talent coming up from junior.  Erist Wame (GPSS) and Sean Samuel (HHHS) are grade 11s that have both cracked the 30+ point mark during league play this season.  Eastwood, meanwhile, has Jerelle Vaughan and several others from a "top 5" junior team last season.

Of course, there's a couple clubs that have had some difficulty matching last season's success after graduating some key players.  The Preston Panthers, for instance, have already matched last season's loss total with an 0-5 start to their season.  That said, the Panthers have been quite competitve (i.e. losing to several teams, including SJAM by single digits).  In addition, the youthful WCI Vikings have already picked up 3 losses this season (3-3), whereas in 2009-10 the Vikes were a surprise squad that went 10-2 during the regular season.  However, the Vikes did come within a second of handing the FHCI Trojans their first loss right before the break.

The Rest of the Way

At the mid-way point, it looks as though the favourites to take the title would be (in no particular order) Bluevale, SJAM, Cameron Heights and Forest Heights.  WCI and Grand River seem to be next in line and, as evidenced by some of their results to this point, have the ability to take out the current "top 4" if they play well.

Eastwood, KCI and Southwood are "darkhorses" that could definitely make some noise if they're peaking at playoff time.

Midway WCSSAA All-Stars

(Based upon WCSSAA games only)

Note:  Where applicable, I've added scoring averages for those that were "calculable". 

First Team
Stefan Cvrkalj, Bluevale - 20.2 PPG
Javon Masters, Forest Heights*
Ben Reyhani, SJAM - 19.6 PPG
Edem Ame, SJAM
Amjed Osman, Cameron Heights

Second Team
Sean Samuel, Huron Heights* - 22.7 PPG
Osama Qahwash, Grand River
Brodi Verbiski, Grand River
Alex Copp, WCI
Erist Wame, Glenview Park*
Vedran Dmitrovic, Cameron Heights*

Third Team
Brian Doran, Southwood - 19.0 PPG
Alex Galea, KCI - 15.5 PPG
Quinn Turner, SJAM**
Ian Farquharson, Bluevale
Karsten Beney, Bluevale
Gage Paquette, Forest Heights

* = grade 11
** = grade 10

CWOSSA Alums Put Up Big Games on Tuesday

In NCAA action on Tuesday evening, big performances were put up by a couple of CWOSSA alums in helping their respective squads to victory.

Both Murphy Burnatowski (Maine) and Imad Qahwash (Central Arkansas) cracked the 20+ point mark on Tuesday evening as follows:

Maine 74, Penn State 64

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP)—Murphy Burnatowski scored 20 points and Terrance Mitchell added 17 as Maine beat Penn State 74-64 on Tuesday.

The Bears (6-5), who won their fourth straight game, led by double digits for the majority of the final 10 minutes and by as many as 15 points. Maine shot 53 percent (20 of 38) from the field. Penn State got to within seven points on three different occasions in the final four minutes but could get no closer.

The Nittany Lions shot 39 percent (20 of 57) from the field and made only 7 of 23 3-point attempts (30.4 percent).

The Nittany Lions (7-4) got 26 points from Talor Battle and 18 from David Jackson but will head into Big Ten play having dropped two straight games. No other Penn State player had more than six points.

Maine, paced by 14 first-half points from Burnatowski, led 31-24 at halftime.

Retrieved From:  http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/recap?gid=201012210459

Burnatowski's Stat Line:
6-8 FG (5-7 3PT), 3-4 FT - 20 points.  3 REB, 2 TO, 1 STL - 23 minutes.

Central Arkansas 81, Lyon College 67

CONWAY, Ark. (AP)—Imad Qahwash scored 21 points to lead Central Arkansas past Lyon College 81-67 on Tuesday night.

Carlos Dos Santos had 19 points and a game-high eight rebounds for the Bears (4-8). Mike Pouncy added 12 points and T.K. Smith 11 for Central Arkansas.

Slater Belew led Lyon College (6-5) with 20 points. Tyler Sergent had 17 points and Aaron Farris 12 for the NAIA Scots, who led only once in the game, at 12-11.

Central Arkansas led 40-28 at halftime and kept a double-digit lead for the last 17 minutes of the game.

Retrieved From:  http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/recap?gid=201012211262

Qahwash's Stat Line:
7-12 FG (1-3 3PT), 6-8 FT - 21 points.  6 REB, 5 AST, 5 TO, 2 STL - 28 minutes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bishop Mac To Participate at Junior Rimrocker; GRCI Withdraws

The Bishop Macdonell Celtics, arguably the best junior boys team in CWOSSA, will travel to the GTA after the Christmas break to participate in the 2011 Xavier Junior Boys Rimrocker tournament.

This tournament is always a competitive event and features many of the top junior teams in the province.

Last year, the Celtics went 2-1 in pool play before dropping a 67-55 decision to Toronto's Eastern Commerce in the round of 16. 

Bishop Mac is in a competitive group with:
Joan of Arc (Vaughan) - #13 in GTA Ranking
Pine Ridge (Pickering) - HM in GTA Ranking
D'Youville (Brampton) - #16 in GTA Ranking

Meanwhile, Grand River CI was originally scheduled to participate in the Rimrocker, however, due to a depleted roster the weekend of the tournament they have elected to withdraw.  They will be replaced in the draw by Pickering HS of Ajax.

Senior: St. John's (Brantford) Tournament - January 14 & 15

Here are the first round matchups.  CWOSSA teams are bolded:

4:00pm - A.B. Lucas vs. Central Elgin

5:30pm - Riverside (Windsor) vs. London Banting

7:00pm - Walkerton DSS vs. Ancaster

8:30pm - St. John's vs. East Elgin

Friday, December 17, 2010

CWOSSA "AAAA" Weekly Power Ranking

After some big games over the past week, we've seen an interesting shake-up on the senior side.

For the first time in the 2010 calendar year (i.e. since January), the Bluevale Knights have dropped from the top spot in the AAAA rankings after their losses to Cameron Heights and St. James (though Stefan Cvrkalj was out of the lineup in the latter).

The beneficiary?  D8 teams St. Mary's and Resurrection, who are both seeking to make their first OFSAA AAAA appearances in school history.  Of course, only one of those two schools will qualify for the CWOSSA championships.

Interesting trivia note -- the only D8 school to qualify for AAAA OFSAA was actually the St. Benedict Saints, back in 2003, when they were ranked #6 in the 8-team CWOSSA draw but pulled two upsets over #3 WCI and #2 Guelph Centennial to reach the championship final.

St. Mary's won the Knights-Vikes Shootout last weekend, while Resurrection went 2-1 at the competitive Chancellor Tournament in Hamilton (Andrew Mwangi was injured in game #1). 

There were some significant changes throughout the senior rankings; although all the teams remained the same the average change in ranking was a staggering 2.3 spots per team --- probably the highest ever in rankings history.  Of course, this is due to some great league and tournament matchups that often pitted ranked teams against each other.

Junior Boys
1.  St. Mary's HS - Kitchener (1)
2.  Cameron Heights CI - Kitchener (3)
3.  Forest Heights CI - Kitchener (2)
4.  St. John's College - Brantford (4)
5.  JF Ross CVI - Guelph (5)
6.  Centre Wellington DHS - Fergus (7)
7.  Eastwood CI - Kitchener (8)
8.  Grand River CI - Kitchener (6)
9.  Resurrection CSS - Kitchener (10)
10.  Bluevale CI - Waterloo (HM)

Dropped Out:  SJAM - Waterloo (9)

Senior Boys
T1.  Resurrection CSS - Kitchener (2)
T1.  St. Mary's HS - Kitchener (4)
3.  SJAM - Waterloo (5)
4.  Bluevale CI - Waterloo (1)
5.  Cameron Heights CI - Kitchener (6)
6.  Forest Heights CI - Kitchener (9)
7.  JF Ross CVI - Guelph (3)
8.  St. John's College - Brantford (10)
9.  Grand River CI - Kitchener (7)
10.  Centennial CVI - Guelph (8)

HM:  Centre Wellington - Fergus (NR)

CWOSSA "AAA" Weekly Power Ranking

Big jump for the Galt Ghosts in the junior rankings, as they defeated both KCI and Glenview Park this week in league play.

Meanwhile, on the senior side, a nice week for the KCI Raiders (including wins over Southwood & Galt, along with a tournament championship at Glenview Park) sees them shoot up the rankings after being unranked last week.

Junior
1.  North Park - Brantford (1)
2.  St. James - Guelph (2)
3.  Galt CI - Cambridge (7)
4.  Glenview Park - Cambridge (3)
5.  Kitchener CI (4)
6.  Brantford CI (5)
7.  Jacob Hespeler - Cambridge (8)
8.  Elmira DSS (T10)
9.  Huron Heights - Kitchener (9)
10.  Paris DHS (T10)

Dropped Out:  Southwood SS - Cambridge (8)

Senior
1.  St. James - Guelph (1)
2.  North Park - Brantford (2)
3.  St. David - Waterloo (3)
4.  Centre Dufferin - Shelburne (4)
5.  Kitchener CI (NR)
6.  Southwood SS - Cambridge (5)
7.  Paris DHS (8)
8.  Galt CI - Cambridge (NR)
9.  Huron Heights - Kitchener (NR)
T10.  Waterloo-Oxford - Baden (10)
T10.  Brantford CI (9)

Dropped Out:  Preston HS - Cambridge (7).

CWOSSA "AA" Weekly Power Ranking

Junior Boys
1.  Bishop Macdonell - Guelph (1)
2.  Owen Sound CVI (2)
3.  Our Lady of Lourdes - Guelph (3)
4.  Sacred Heart CHS - Walkerton (4)
5.  Norwell DSS - Palmerston (NR)

Dropped Out:  Kincardine DSS (5)

Senior Boys
1.  Our Lady of Lourdes - Guelph (1)
2.  Owen Sound CVI (T2)
3.  Bishop Macdonell - Guelph (T2)
4.  Sacred Heart CHS - Walkerton (4)
5.  Kincardine DSS (5)

CWOSSA "A" Weekly Power Ranking

Last week's ranking in brackets. 

Junior Boys
1.  Walkerton DSS (1)
2.  Delhi DSS (2)
3.  Rockway MC (3)
4.  Waterford DHS (4)
5.  Peninsula Shores (5)

Senior Boys
1.  Walkerton DSS (1)
2.  Rockway MC (2)
3.  Delhi DSS (NR)
4.  Peninsula Shores (4)
5.  Waterford DHS (T5)

Dropped Out:  Woodland CHS (T5)

D4 Results & Standings

Games from Wednesday, December 15th:

Junior

Centre Dufferin 36, Erin DHS 22
CDDHS:  Dhruy Patel 13
EDHS:  Mason Johnston 4, Matt Napier 4, Andrew McEwan 4

Norwell 38, Westside 24
NDSS:  Jeremiah Wideman 12, Eric McDonald 10
WSS:  Luke Milican 7

Standings
1.  Norwell 3-0
2.  Wellington Heights 2-1 (.667)
3.  Centre Dufferin 3-2 (.600)
4.  Westside 1-2
5.  Erin DHS 0-4

Senior

Norwell 44, Westside 41
NDSS:  Andrew Pronk 23, Aley Lebbink 6
WSS:  Josh Milican 14

Centre Dufferin 80, Erin DHS 27
CDDHS:  Marco Zanette 15, Jon Armstrong 13
EDHS:  Keiran Wozniak 7

Standings
1.  Centre Dufferin 5-0
2.  Woodland 2-1
T3.  Norwell 2-2
T3.  Westside 2-2
5.  Wellington Heights 1-2
6.  Erin DHS 0-5

Simcoe Reformer: Finding Rhythm

Article By:  Jeff Dertinger

WATERFORD -- One team is focused on improving their defence, the other their offence. Such is life less than two weeks into a new high school basketball season.
The Holy Trinity Titans senior boys were in Waterford Tuesday where they handed the defending champion Wolves a 49-32 loss. The Titans were scoring right from the get-go and pulled away in the second half after putting extra pressure on the Wolves offence.

"We did all right -- could've done better if we didn't miss those easy layups -- but yeah, overall it wasn't bad," Titans point guard Josh Johnson said.

Johnson and centre Kevin MacDonald led the scoring with 13 each. Both MacDonald and Johnson attacked the rim aggressively and the inside-outside combo was responsible for most of the 26 Holy Trinity points in the first half.

Waterford managed to stay within striking range though, putting up 19 in the first 16 minutes of play. They too missed numerous layups underneath the basket, yet offset that by draining outside shots. Aaron Hall hit a couple threes and finished with nine points, while Mark Sheridan was on target from the corner of the key, leading the team with 10.

In the second half, Holy Trinity switched to full-court pressure and dialed up the intensity. Andrew Mattan showed off his quick hands and feet with several steals and easy baskets, as the Titans pulled away for a 40-28 lead after three.

Waterford was struggling to put up points through the remainder of the game, something that has plagued this young team in all three games this season.

"We're a young team and a lot of these guys haven't even played league basketball before, but they're coming along pretty good," Wolves guard Jeffery Paul said. "Our offensive play needs to improve, but the defence is looking good. We just need to box out, create shots and keep working at it."

After dropping their season opener against the Simcoe Sabres, Holy Trinity has reeled off two straight, beating Port Dover by almost a wide margin last Thursday. The key for HT is protecting the rim and forcing bad shots.

"We have to keep working on our defence," Johnson said. "In this league, if you can play D, you're in pretty good shape. We already know we got guys who can score. It's coming."

Waterford has now lost three straight to open the year, but that isn't unexpected. In high school, being a two-time defending champion doesn't mean much when the majority of your players graduate.

The Wolves were right there with Holy Trinity though. They have good athletes on the roster and their defence was pretty solid for much of the game. As Johnson said, in the Norfolk loop, it all starts with that.

In the junior game it was Waterford coming out on top against the Holy Trinity Titans.

Elsewhere around the league: Donte Richardson led the Delhi Raiders in scoring as DDSS toppled Valley Heights 56-46.

In the junior game, Marshall Winsor nailed three shots from beyond the arc to help the Delhi juniors beat the Bears 57-43. Drew Murray also chipped in with close to 10 points and a handful of assists for the 3-0 Raiders.

Games between the Port Dover Lakers and Simcoe Sabres were cancelled.

Tuesday's games were the last of 2010, as the high school league goes on hiatus for the Christmas break. Play resumes Jan. 4.

Retrieved From:  http://simcoereformer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2890942

BAA: Thursday Results

Junior

Sacred Heart (Walkerton) 49, John Diefenbaker (Hanover) 37
SHHS:  Tristen Senra 13
JDSS:  Josh Hopkins 19

Senior

Sacred Heart 46, John Diefenbaker 29
SHHS:  Sean Desjardins 20
JDSS:  Alex Grierson 13

D10: Thursday Results

Junior

Centre Wellington 48, GCVI 41
CW:  Ian Newman 14, Braewyn Bird 12
GCVI:  J. Hopkins 12

JF Ross 62, Centennial 32
JFR:  Kristian Vande Kemp 20, Nolan Ireland 10
CCVI:  Jeremy Seed 8, Tyler Burton 7

Junior D10 Standings
1.  Bishop Mac 7-0
T2.  St. James 6-2
T2.  CWDHS 6-2
4.  JF Ross 5-2
T5.  Lourdes 2-6
T5.  GCVI 2-6
7.  Orangeville 1-5
8.  Centennial 1-7

Senior

JF Ross 58, Centennial 43
My Pick:  JFR
JFR:  Jack Cornett 11, Shamlo Saeed 10, Wil de Groot 10
CCVI:  Serge Khayipangi 16, Erik Sterne 10

Centre Wellington 64, GCVI 38
CW:  Gavin MacNamara 16, Tim Francis 15
GCVI:  Emin Spahic 14, Andrew Hood 8

Senior D10 Standings
1.  JF Ross 7-0
2.  St. James 7-1
3.  Centennial 5-3
T4.  Lourdes 4-4
T4.  CWDHS 4-4
6.  GCVI 2-6
7.  Bishop Mac 1-6
8.  Orangeville 0-6

WCSSAA Senior: Thursday Results

In notable games, the SJAM Highlanders won the "battle of the undefeateds" over Cameron Heights, while Forest Heights stayed perfect --- albeit barely --- by sneaking out a 1-point win at WCI.

SJAM 60, Cameron Heights 53
My Pick:  CHCI
The Gaels come crashing down after their big win against Bluevale.  Looks like Ben Reyhani did play, and along with Edem Ame were a two-man machine in this one (Ame - 26, Reyhani - 22).  Cameron was led by Amjed Osman with 16 while Adnan Shah chipped in 12.

Grand River 58, Eastwood 54
My Pick:  GRCI
I said it might be close, and it was.  The Rens get the important win thanks to another 20+ effort from Osama Qahwash (22) while Filip Cvrkalj added 13.  ECI saw Jerelle Vaughan lead the way with 15; Gondor Teny added 13.

Forest Heights 63, WCI 62
My Pick:  FHCI
In a near replication of the junior score, the Trojans get a nail-biting win.  WCI actually led by 1 with a few seconds left but turned the ball over and Gage Paquette had a put-back at the buzzer to win the game.  Javon Masters continued his solid play, pouring in 28 points; Paquette had 20 more for FHCI.  WCI received 20 from grade 10 guard Adam Anagnostopoulos while Alex Copp added 17.

KCI 48, Galt 36
My Pick:  KCI
The Raiders are a bit of a surprise to start the year (4-2).  Lazar Dabic (14) and Alex Galea (11) led the way while GCI received 10 from Gabe Vidal and 9 from Jack Simmons.

Southwood 48, Glenview Park 37
My Pick:  SSS
Big win for the Sabres as they move back to .500 (3-3).  They were able to withstand a 22-point effort from GPSS' Erist Wame in this one, thanks to 19 from Brian Doran and 10 from Greg Marjerrison.

Huron Heights 81, WODSS 72
My Pick:  WODSS
In the (combined) highest-scoring game of the season thus far, Huron Heights received a WCSSAA regular-season high 38 points from Sean Samuel and 21 from Shayan Butt as they pick up win number 2 on the season.  WODSS' balanced effort was led by Tyler Bowman and Chris Thomson (12 each).

Preston/Jacob Hespeler - Not Reported

Bluevale - Bye Win (EDSS)

WCSSAA Senior Standings
1.  SJAM 6-0
2.  Forest Heights 5-0
T3.  Cameron Heights 5-1
T3.  Bluevale 5-1
T5.  Grand River 4-2
T5.  KCI 4-2
T7.  WCI 3-3
T7.  WODSS 3-3
T7.  Southwood 3-3
10.  Galt 2-3
T11.  Eastwood 2-4
T11.  Glenview Park 2-4
T11.  Huron Heights 2-4
-----
T14.  Preston 0-5*
T14.  Jacob Hespeler 0-5*

* - pending last night's result