Fields have now been assembled for the OFSAA A, AA, AAA and AAAA basketball championships which will take place next week around the province.
Now, the big task for tournament organizers is figuring out where to place everyone!
Here's a quick look at our OFSAA teams and where I think they might fit in:
St. Mary's Eagles (Kitchener) - AAAA #1
Key Wins: Pope John Paul II (Toronto), Anderson CVI (Dyshawn Pierre - DNP), Resurrection x3, JF Ross x3, Waterloo CI, Forest Heights, Sarnia Northern, Centre Wellington.
Notable Losses: ACMT (Hamilton), Herman (Windsor), Holy Trinity (Oakville), Cardinal Newman, Forest Heights, Notre Dame (Burlington).
My Take: Going undefeated through league & playoff action (including CWOSSA) was important for this squad, as they hadn't really won the tough games outside of the region (i.e. Windsor tournament). I see them as a #10 or a #11 seed, but anything in the #9 - #12 range is possible, really.
JF Ross Royals (Guelph) - AAAA #2
Key Wins: Forest Heights, Loyola (Oakville), Governor Simcoe, Centre Wellington, SJAM, Pine Ridge (exhibition), IE Weldon - Lindsay (AAA OFSAA Qualifier), St. Anne (Windsor).
Notable Losses: St. Mary's (Kitchener) x3, Centre Wellington, Centennial, Grand River, Pope John Paul, London Banting, Sarnia Northern.
My Take: Not winning their league title or CWOSSA will obviously affect their ranking. However, I would expect the Royals to be ranked higher than they were last year or in 2010 (#17 both years). I'm looking at a #14 seed for the Royals myself, but expect something in that #13 - #15 range.
Jacob Hespeler - AAA
My Take: The Hawks, making their first appearance, are likely headed for the lower end of the OFSAA rankings --- which isn't necessarily a bad thing the way they played this past weekend.
Several league losses, as well as a few tournament losses (particularly the SBCSS tournament) will likely have them down in the #13-#15 range in what, on paper, looks to be a fairly strong 16-team AAA tournament.
Of course, JHSS didn't have Javon Bryce in all of their games, particularly some of their losses, and now that he's back, perhaps the underdog Hawks can make some noise at the AAA tournament --- especially if a team takes them lightly with their ranking.
Our Lady of Lourdes - AA
After getting some OFSAA experience under their belt last year as a #15 seed (going 1-2 but being up on the #2 seed, St. Basil of SSM by 12 at halftime), I look for Lourdes to have a much better seed this season.
With a league and repeat CWOSSA championship under their belt, I wouldn't be surprised to see this year's version of the Crusaders in the top 10. I'm looking at them as a #9-#11 seed, personally, but we'll see what the seeding committee has to say about the Crusaders improved resume from a year ago.