Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Nov. 17


 

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

 

 

 

 

Senior Boys Basketball
St. Matt’s Tigers advance to senior boys hoops championship
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The St. Matthew Tigers senior boys basketball team is on the verge of winning the school’s first city championship in three years after downing the Glebe Gryphons in a hotly-contested semi-final on Thursday.

With the win, the Tigers have also guaranteed themselves a spot in the OFSAA 'AAA' provincial championships which this year are being hosted by the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association.

The Tigers looked as if they might run away from the Gryphons after jumping out to an early 8-2 lead, but Glebe went on a 9-0 run to go up 11-8 by the end of the opening quarter.

The lead changed hands several times in the second quarter, but a pair of three point shots by Scott Ring and Garnet Blais would give the Tigers a
21-20 lead at the half.

St. Matt’s was able to maintain a slight advantage on the scoreboard through the third quarter and into the fourth. Then with about four minutes left to go in the game they managed to open up an eight point lead on a pair of free throws from Garnet Blais, who was a monster on the boards in the final five minutes, and Gavin Resch who hit a huge, no look three-pointer to put the Tigers up 41-33.

Refusing to give up, the Gryphons responded with a quick three-point shot
of their own and a pair of free throws to once again narrow the gap to three points.

With the Tigers hanging on to a two point lead, Resch hit a pair of free throws with 56 seconds on the clock to give his team some breathing room.

After Glebe hit a jump shot to get back to within two, they managed to force a jump ball before St. Matt’s could call a timeout and ended up getting the ball back on the possession arrow with 10 seconds left to go in the game.

On the ensuing possession, Tyson Hinz was called for reaching in. With the game on the line, the Glebe shooter missed both his shots and Scott Ring was able to gather in the loose ball before getting hacked.

After missing his first free throw, Ring drained his second shot to make it a three point game with five seconds left. The Gryphons’ only chance was a three point shot in the dying seconds, but Resch was able to get his fingertips on the cross court pass to give the Tigers the win and a berth in the AAA final next Tuesday night at the Raven’s Nest.

The win was especially big for the Tigers’ starting five who will be playing in their first city championship in their final year at the school.

“This is unreal. I’ve been at St. Matt’s for seven years and I’ve never played in a city championship,” a jubilant Garnet Blais said after the game. “We have a great group of guys and hopefully we’ll be able to pull it out.”

Tigers head coach Jason Wren credited Blais for turning the tide in the team's favour in the final quarter with his work under the glass at one point he hauled down four defensive rebounds in row on four consecutive trips down the floor by the Gryphons.

"I have to give a lot of credit to Garnet. He really got after it, especially in the fourth quarter. He was a monster," said Wren. "Before we went out to start the second half, I reminded all the graduating players that this would be their last home game on their home court and when they walk off they need to walk off with no regrets."

The Tigers will be playing the Sir Robert Bengals in the final which will be played at Carleton University next Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Although both teams are undefeated in league play, the Tigers have beaten the Bengals four times in tournament action.

(Posted 9:30 a.m., Feb. 20)

 

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